Not to be left behind by cheap handsets that often offer many features comparable to Nokia’s at half the rates, the Finnish giant is banking on innovative distribution and finance to capture India’s hinterland market.
While relying increasingly on the replacement market in urban areas, it has tied up with micro-finance institutions to make easy credit available for rural consumers and bundling it with value-added services customised for target groups of consumers.
“As market leaders our primary job is to find enablers to grow the market, and these enablers are replacement, micro finance availability, value added services and increased rural distribution,” D. Shivakumar, managing director, Nokia India said at a company retreat.
Nokia will add 60,000 retail outlets over the next two years in India, where it has 200,000 outlets, of which 90,000 are rural.
Shivakumar said there is more to the game than prices because ultra-cheap phones were available for as low as Rs 500.
Nokia, which has a 54 per cent market share in India, is selling value-added services like English learning and short educational bites on farming through short messages linked to handsets to lure customers.