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Nokia makes inroads into corporate segment with ‘stock Android’ operating system

Nokia, which was once a household mobile phone brand in India, is now trying to make a comeback and catch up with leaders like Xiaomi and Samsung.

HMD Global, a Finnish start-up which has the licence for Nokia, has been focussing on the retail market in the country and has launched a slew of phones priced between 4,000 and 36,000.

The company is also trying to position itself as an alternative to Blackberry in the enterprise sector by providing a secured phone for employees.

“Today, due to the ‘stock Android’ operating system, we have made inroads into the corporate segment with clients like SAP, Mukava and YBS group using Nokia phones globally. We want to be an alternative to Blackberry,” said TS Sridhar, General Manager, South and West India, HMD Global.

On the sidelines of the launch of Nokia 4.2 smart phone here, he told BusinessLine, “Enterprise is a huge segment with many companies rolling out the ‘bring your own device’ concept, and want their employees to stay connected on the move. This can be done only if data is safe. In the Android Enterprise Recommended Programme, 14 of Nokia smart phones are listed.”

In 2018, craftsmanship and design was put in ‘stock Android’ for the customer to get the latest Google update. “This is the USP that we have. We are the only manufacturer to scale up an update in 6-8 months while others take 6-18 months,” said Sridhar.

On regaining the lost market share, Sridhar said, “When we came in, we were in the Symbian operating system and then on Windows. When we launched the mobiles in a new avatar, consumers welcomed us by saying Nokia on Android should be an experience. We focussed on craftsmanship, experience and design. The combination of Nokia and Android is proving to be a phenomenal success story,” he said.

On brand building, Sridhar said that being the sponsor of the KKR team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) helped the company target millennials. “HMD along with Google as software partner and Foxconn as manufacturer is a good combination,” he said.

He added: “In 2017, Nokia was at number 17 in the smart phones pecking order. In less than two years, Nokia is at number 8 and in two-three years, we want to be among the top five players.”