Case Study Abstract

The focus of this case study is the business strategy adopted by Nokia in the Indian Mobile devices market. This case study summarizes Nokia’s business strategies in India. Nokia has proven itself as one of the most recognized brands
in India in the past decade or so. This case also discusses in brief some of the marketing strategies of Nokia in India and examines how the Nokia brand has emerged.


A Nokia Priority Dealer Store in Hyderabad India
Pic: A Nokia Dealer Store in India

This case study covers the following issues:

  • Assess Nokia’s globalization strategies
  • Examine and analyze the entry and expansion strategies of Nokia in India
  • Analyze Nokia’s efforts to localize its practices in India market.

Nokia – Company Overview

Nokia Corporation (Nokia) is a global manufacturer of mobile devices headquartered in Espoo, Finland. Nokia operates through four business groups: Mobile Phones, Multimedia, Enterprise Solutions and Networks. In Q3 2007, Nokia sold over 111.7 million units worldwide, marking a 26 per cent, year-on-year growth. Nokia India had revenues of more than $3.5 billion in 2006…

Case Study Contents

  1. Nokia – Company Overview
  2. Company History
  3. Nokia Timeline
  4. Nokia in India
  5. Locations and Subsidiaries
  6. Mobile Devices Industry in India – Business Description
  7. Restructuring
  8. Distribution challenges – Getting to the Rural Market
  9. Understanding the versatile Indian market
  10. Nokia – Branding Strategy
  11. SRK in Nokia ad campaign
  12. Nokia India Recognitions and Awards
  13. Related Reading
  14. View sample pages of this case study
Case Study Keywords: Nokia in India, Mobile devices industry, Handsets, Cellular phones, Expansion and Entry Strategy, Business Strategy Case Study.

Additional Reading: Articles on Nokia

Case Snippets/Updates:

Essence of Nokia India’s business strategy according to Nokia India’s Managing Director, Mr D Shivakumar (As quoted in “Nokia’s biz strategy to increase India market share” in 2009)

  1. Do not underestimate competition
  2. Do not rest on laurels
  3. Be modest, flexible and open to change

Nokia and the Indian Market

  • Nokia’s Entry in India: Nokia entered India in 1995.
  • Third Largest Telecommunication Market: India ranks third globally after China and U.S. in terms of the largest telecommunication market.
  • 500 million mobile subscribers in India: The Indian market is adding about 10 million users a month. Nokia sees the Indian market as a growth opportunity particularly in the country’s rural areas. Rural penetration in India is still very low at 13%. By 2010, Nokia estimates that there will be around 500 million mobile phone users in India as compared to 427 million. According to Standard Chartered Bank’s annual forecast, India will have signed up its 500 millionth mobile subscriber sometime in December 2009 or January 2010. So, it took India 12 years (from 1997 when the mobile revolution began) to grow from zero to 500 million subscribers. However, analysts estimate it will take only five years to add the next 500 million.
  • Nokia’s market share in India: Nokia has more than half the share of India’s mobile handset market. In 2009, an IDC report indicated that there were about 28 new handset vendors in India. Nokia led with a 54.1% market share in the fragmented Indian market, while the new vendors accounted for 17.5%. Samsung and LG followed with markets shares of 7.7 percent and 5.4 percent respectively.
  • Update (Mar, 2012) – Nokia had a market share of approx. 38% in 2011 compared to 49.3 per cent in 2010 in India. Its revenues were Rs 12,929 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 12,900 in the 2009-10. The Indian market accounts for 12 per cent of worldwide sales for Nokia.
  • Nokia’s manufacturing facilities in India: Nokia’s manufacturing facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu (South India) exports half its production to more than 59 countries. Nokia has invested $250 million since its launch in 2006.
  • Mobile Microfinance – In 2009, Nokia piloted a scheme in two Indian states where it sold handsets on a weekly installment of 100 rupees ($2) over 25 weeks. Nokia planned to rollout the microfinance offer in 12 Indian states.
  • India not a low-end market segment – 81 percent of the India’s mobile users are in urban areas. Nokia anticipates such customers would drive demand for high-end phones.
  • Increasing Competition from new mobile handset manufacturers’ entry into India: In one quarter of 2009 alone, twenty-seven new mobile handset manufacturers entered the Indian market to introduce entry-level models (and other models with features such as dual SIM cards and full QWERTY keyboard) for the price sensitive Indian consumer.
  • Mobile handset sales in India: By year ended June 30, 2009, mobile handset sales in India was 100.9 million compared to 94.6 million, a year ago.
  • Nokia’s strong distribution in India: In India, Nokia has 2 lakh retail outlets and 700 support centers across 400 cities and towns.
  • Nokia’s competitors in India: Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Spice, MacroMaxx, Karbonn, Lava, Lemon, Oscar.
    Maxx Mobile – In less than two years after entering the Indian mobile phone market, Maxx Mobile captured around four percent market share by offering around 45 models and having a presence across India with its 500 service centres. With such a strong distribution network the company wants to increase it market share to about 10 percent in the next two years (by 2012). In 2010, ‘Micromax Mobiles’ was second on the list of fastest rising search terms and the fourth most searched brand name on Google India website (Zeitgeist 2010).
  • Nokia’s ‘Made for India’ phones: In 2000, Nokia introduced the Nokia 3210 with a Hindi menu. In 2003, Nokia launched the Nokia 1100, a first Made for India phone.
  • India’s Most Trusted Brand: Nokia ranked as India’s topmost trusted brand in the The Economic Times-Brand Equity’s annual ‘Most Trusted Brands’ survey for 2010. In 2004, Nokia ranked 71 and moved to 44 in 2006 as India’s most trusted brand. In 2007, it ranked in the top ten at number 4. Nokia has since held the number one slot for three years consecutively.
  • Nokia’s biggest advertising/marketing campaign in India: In December 2011, Nokia launched its biggest ever campaign in India called the ‘The Amazing Everyday’. The idea behind Nokia’s global campaign is to engage customers with the idea that “hidden away in the everyday landscape are billions of little adventures”.
  • In February 2011, Nokia entered into an alliance with Microsoft. Nokia began using the Windows operating system on its smartphone range called Lumia.
  • In June 2012, Nokia announced that it plans to cut 10,000 jobs and close 2 research facilities in Germany and Canada and a factory in Finland after its sales decreased by 29 percent with losses at $1.2 billion in the first quarter. However, India operations are unlikely to be affected by the job cuts, a spokeswoman from Nokia India confirmed./li>