Skip to content

Sweden – A home for the most innovative global companies

Sweden is the hub of innovation fostering companies that have grown to be global leaders. From the key card that opens your doors in hotels, to the minimalistic IKEA furniture, with the famous Volvos to fashion brands such as H&M, Sweden has been home to world-changing companies. In this blog post, I take you through those Swedish companies that grew to be household names throughout the world.


You would know a Volvo to be a household name when you refer to an AC bus of a random brand as a Volvo. Volvo was founded in 1928, manufactures and is headquartered in Gotenberg, trucks, cars, buses and many other automotive products. I have seen students from KTH pursuing their Master thesis at Volvo and even alumni working there.



Ikea (or as the Swedes call it E-kea) is another Swedish company that is more a household name in more than 52 countries. I was surprised the Ikea hadn’t entered the Indian market till 2018 where it set up its first stall in Hyderabad and now in 2021 in my home city of Bangalore. The most fascinating thing about IKEA is the minimalistic design of its products and is a subject of study for design engineers like me.

Ikea featured in 500 days of summer

Assa Abloy

A name that you might never have heard, but you would have used a keycard with a sensor made at Assa Abloy to open doors at a hotel room. Assa Abloy makes security systems and locks for professional places, apartments and homes.

Assa Abloy is a merger of the Swedish company Assa and the Finnish company Abloy


Spotify was a small Stockholm-based start-up in 2006, took the world by storm in two years providing users with a platform to listen to their favourite artists legally and stand against piracy. Spotify now has around 286 million users and 130 million subscribers worldwide and is one of the top music streaming platforms. The business model innovation experimented by Spotify such as freemium models, ad analytics, and limited trial periods is again an interesting subject of study for entrepreneurs.

Spotify to offer TV and movies in drive to boost growth | Financial Times
Spotify is a must-have app while partying
PC: Financial times


While walking on a shopping street in any part of the world, the H&M logo is something that one would almost rarely fail to recognize. H&M has been a brand for affordable fast fashion. It is a one-stop solution for every fashion apparel. An interesting fact about H&M stores is there are no backup stocks held within the stores but have regional inventory which enables H&M to bring to its stores the most trendy apparel.

PC: Forbes

The air of innovation is fresh to be experienced in Sweden. These are a few of the many companies that have been nurtured in Sweden before growing into global companies. Comment below if you have seen these brands in your home country.

Hej, I am from India currently pursuing Integrated Product Design at KTH. Moving to Stockholm has given me an opportunity to explore the new city like a local yet maintain the awe of a traveler. The vibrant KTH campus and its activities are itself a treat to a creative and aspiring mind. Join me on this journey of stories as we meet amazing people, exploring the innovation and sustainability pursuits happening throughout the KTH campus and the historical treasures of the city and the ways of employing jugaad to survive on a budget in one of the most expensive cities.