HMD global, the official licensee of Nokia smartphones, is getting aggressive in the Indian market. After launching the Nokia 2, Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 last year, the company has now launched four new Android smartphones that were announced just last month, during Mobile World Congress 2018.
Ajey Mehta, Vice President and Country Head - India, HMD Global, says, "Of the 70 million Nokia smartphones sold globally, India is amongst the top three markets contributing to the global sales for Nokia smartphone. We have even registered a 5x growth during the last eight months. And 2018 is the year where we will really scale up."
HMD Global is expanding its collaborations for scaling operations. The company has already entered into an association with the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders as its principal sponsor. Mehta says, "A lot of people are asking us that we are still doing the same old things. But this partnership is to announce that Nokia is back. People know Nokia but they don't necessarily know what Nokia Android smartphone is. It will also drive contextual awareness about our phones - Nokia Android smartphone. The partnership will also help us in connecting with our fans. The kind of fan following IPL has is the kind of consumer base we want to reach out to."
In the year 2018, the company will focus on three main aspects. The first is to expand product portfolio, second is the innovation in the way they run their business and, lastly, deepening channel presence. In India, HMD Global has expanded its offline footprint and has a network of over 510 distributors with over 100,000 stores. Apart from the partnership with e-commerce players, the company has started selling smartphones through Nokia Mobile Shop Z(nokia.com/phones).
With the focus shifting towards 'Make in India', three out of four Android smartphones launched today, the Nokia 1, New Nokia 6 and Nokia 7 Plus will be manufactured at the Foxconn facility in India. However, the Nokia 8 Sirocco, the most premium of the lot, is the only device that will be imported into the country. As there has been an increase in the import duties of mobile components in the country, Mehta says, "We are following the phased manufacturing program with Foxconn. We are a little late but over time we will be in line with the phased manufacturing programme."
The New Nokia 6 has been priced at Rs 16,999, Nokia 7 Plus at Rs 25,999, and the Nokia 8 Sirocco will be available at Rs 49,999.
The company is also focusing on expanding its presence in the enterprise channel. Mehta further explains, "We are on Android One, the purest and securest version of Android, which enterprises are keen to adopt." For this, HMD Global is working with HCL where the staff is. "We are working with our partner HCL and our ground staff is making calls on large and medium enterprises. We are at a very early stage on this and need to understand it better."