With 190,000 sales outlets spread across India, and a Chennai manufacturing facility that is currently its most active, Finnish telecom giant Nokia is eyeing heady growth in India’s communications revolution, betting on cheap services like farm information for Rs. 2 a day and local music downloads. Its Chief Executive Officer Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo spoke to the media on Wednesday about how his firm plans to keep the leadership by becoming rural-friendly and adding services to its core strengths in handsets.
India can spearhead the world in many services. It can be used more and more for research. The population and the sophistication are here. It is the second largest country for us in terms of revenue and sales volumes and manufacturing roll-out at Chennai is the highest in the world. We are present in about 1,90,000 retail outlets in India. The country is perceived to be a low-end market but that is not the case. Our high-end devices like the N97 are selling very nicely here also. India is among the top five countries that download content from Ovi store.
There is this PC and notebook market on one hand and the mobile computer market on the other. They come close, converge and move away. I think more and more activity is going to take place in the netbook (Internet-friendly affordable laptop) area. We will also look at the space. We are working with Intel to see what opportunities exist for both of us in this space.
On the rural market
We have commercially rolled out services like Nokia Life Tools (content and software service applications) and micro finance schemes in 17 states for the rural markets. India to a large extent is a self-employed economy and we don’t see a market for slowdown in rural India.
On services’ strategy
This requires local partnerships with content providers and operators and the process is much more complex than what meets the eye. We have a target to have 300 million active users by 2011.