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Nokia bets on services to boost India sales

india Updated: Apr 07, 2011 20:53 IST
Sachin Dave
Sachin Dave
Hindustan Times
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Finnish handset maker Nokia, the world's biggest handset maker is planning to go aggressive on value added services (VAS) segment in India.

The company has managed to get about 6.7 million customers for Nokia life tools, a financial inclusion VAS, according to a person close to the development. "And this customer base is achieved in just about two years," said a senior company official. The company is also developing some special products targeted at Indian customers the official said without sharing details about those.

"The farmer information system that gives weather information to farmers across the country was developed for India, in India," said the official.

"There is a service team working in India that develops products for the region. I see big boom in service (VAS) more so because Indian consumers do not use laptops as much as western consumers, and hence mobile does become an important tool for them," said the company official.

Industry trackers said Nokia is facing a stiff competition from many other players and it is now looking to change the way it operates. In February Stephen Elop, Nokia's new boss wrote to all its 1.32-lakh customers, "We are standing on a burning platform. If Nokia did not want to be consumed by the flames, it had no choice but to plunge into icy waters below."

However, back home in India the team is planning to tap potential in VAS that is expected to grow in double digits in the next decade. Indian customers are not as familiar with Apple store as their American counterparts as of now. "We might have missed out on double sim, but look at the amount of innovation we have done for India in services," said D Shivakumar, vice-president and managing director, Nokia.