Nokia phone maker HMD Global doubles down focus on the Indian market

    Adam Ferguson, head of product marketing at HMD Global, shared the company's renewed focus on the Indian market and the new product launches.
    By MARCIA SEKHOSE
    | Updated on Aug 25 2020, 06:35 PM IST
    Nokia 5.3 along with Nokia C3, 150 and 120 launched in India.
    Nokia 5.3 along with Nokia C3, 150 and 120 launched in India. (HT Tech)
    Nokia 5.3 along with Nokia C3, 150 and 120 launched in India.
    Nokia 5.3 along with Nokia C3, 150 and 120 launched in India. (HT Tech)

    HMD Global, the Finnish company which sells Nokia-branded phones, is doubling down its focus on the Indian market. The focus areas include offering entry-level phones such as Nokia C3, which is touted as an India-first smartphone. The company has also launched two new feature phones and one budget smartphone (Nokia 5.3).

    According to HMD Global, the new offerings will cater to different categories. The timing of the launch of new products has also been well-timed as the company is preparing for the upcoming festival season in India.

    Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

    The festival season in India usually starts late September and early October. The season may see a higher than usual sale due to the pent-up demand from the lockdown time.

    “The reason we’re bringing all of these together is we are doubling down on our focus on India as a market. Nokia C3 is our first India-first device and there’s a lot of consumer insights and that’s sort of been driving specifically around Indian consumers. Bringing that to market at this time and having India as the global launch is key for us, and all of the other devices as well making sure that we maintain our strength in the feature phone part of the business, and also the 5.3 with the smartphone part. It was always the plan to be bringing out a strong range of devices to make sure that in the run-up to the festive season, there is something that is available for all our consumers in the Indian market,” said Adam Ferguson, head of product marketing at HMD Global.

    The new Nokia launches have come after quite a long gap barring the Nokia 5310. Even the Nokia 5.3 which has now launched in India made its debut this March.

    On the delay, Ferguson said, “Yes, sometimes some devices have slightly different launch times in different markets. That’s nothing more than sort of a timing’s piece. It’s not to say that certain devices are focused in other places.”

    “We know that the 7-10,000 range is about a third of the market according to IDC data. We know that it’s something that needs to be focused on and it’s good for us that we have this fantastic heritage in that part of the market as well. We’re going to continue to iterate and drive on that and these devices we’re very, very confident that these devices are going to perform well,” he added.

    Ferguson was however shushed on the rumours of upcoming Nokia launches. But he did somewhat confirm it. “Yes, you can perhaps see some other devices that will be launched in other places,” he said.

    Nokia 5.3 is the most expensive of the lot with a starting price of 13,999. It, however, comes with dated specs in comparison to its rivals in the same price range. But HMD Global is quite confident that its lack or almost no compromise in design and software is enough to win consumers.

    “What we always try to do whenever we’re launching a new device, we try to base it in consumer understanding and needs. We don’t spend so much of our time looking out with competition, we look internally at ourselves to see what we can do better. With the 5.3, at that price point, it is offering a lot of fantastic experiences whether it is the quad-camera, the 2-day battery life, the Qualcomm chip it’s pairing with the AI. so we’re working with very high-quality components, high-quality partners, that comes with the Android guarantee and the promise of software updates. So it’s not just about an individual spec-to-spec comparison. Consumers dial into what they feel about the brand and Nokia’s about trust and reliability. We think that with the 5.3 we’re offering a very attractive package,” Ferguson said.

    On how the company has been dealing with the pandemic, Ferguson said that it has coped up pretty well and it’s seeing positive growth.

    “It affected us in the same way it affected everybody else in the industry. What I can say is that things have been going very well for us. We’ve achieved profitability as a business, so we are in a strong place to be able to capitalise on the market as it bounces back and in particular for us focusing on India as one of the key markets. We want to really cement our position and drive our growth,” he said.

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    First Published Date: 25 Aug, 06:35 PM IST
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