India has emerged as the second largest handsets and network equipment market after China for telecom giant Nokia, which has manufactured 60 million mobile phones at its Chennai facility in just 18 months.
India moved ahead of markets like the UK and the US in the first half of this fiscal based on sales of handsets and network business, but the company did not disclose the numbers.
"In 2004, Nokia had employed 450 people in India but today we have over 9,000 in India... Total outlets in India currently stands at 95,000 out of which 50,000 are selling exclusive Nokia brand phones," Nokia Worldwide CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who is on a India visit, told reporters in New Delhi.
On the network front, the company which recently merged with Siemens, is also ramping up its capacity in Chennai at an investment of over 100 million dollars in the next three years.
Asked whether Nokia would set up another mobile manufacturing unit in the country, he declined to give details, but said: "We will continue to grow in India at a much faster pace."
Initially, the manufacturing unit was catering to the domestic market, but currently about half of the production is exported to about 58 countries, he said.
On the controversial BSNL tender issue, where Nokia had emerged as the second lowest bidder quoting 167 dollar per line compared to 107 dollar by Ericsson, he said: "We have not received Advance Purchase Order from BSNL so we can not comment at this moment."
The company has invested 50 million dollar in its Telecom Park, which will also have seven global component manufacturers as part of the ecosystem. The Park is likely to generate over 30,000 jobs when fully operational, he added.