Nokia phone maker wants to increase mobile exports from India; keen to procure several components locally

HMD Global, the maker of Nokia-branded handsets, is keen to scale up its mobile exports from India as the company looks at various handles, including the purchase of several components locally, to deepen its commitment to manufacturing ecosystems in the country, according to a senior official.

India is a “very important” market for HMD Global and the company considers it to be an important global destination for sourcing and production as well, Sanmeet Singh Kochhar, Vice President, HMD Global told PTI in an interaction.

On Tuesday, the company announced a number of devices, including the Nokia G21 smartphone (which offers up to three days of battery life), Nokia C01 Plus, two new feature phones – Nokia 105 and Nokia 105 Plus and two new audio accessories, Nokia Comfort Earbuds and Nokia Go Earbuds +.

The Nokia G21 comes with a 50 MP triple camera with AI imaging, provides up to three days of battery life and offers two years of OS upgrades as well as several security updates in the segment, according to a company release.

Nokia 105 is the global best-selling feature phone model, which has now been updated in a new stylish design and comes with wireless FM radio, the release added.

Kochhar claimed that when it comes to feature phones, the company is now “number one” in India in value. At present, HMD Global – through its Indian Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) partners – manufactures both functional phones and smartphones in India.

Apart from the Nokia XR20, all the smartphones that it is currently selling in India are manufactured here. In December 2021, HMD Global began exporting locally made Nokia 105 handsets to the UAE market and the company expects to open up for export to newer markets.

“We are evaluating how we can increase our exports from India to feature phones or even smartphones. We have already started exporting Nokia 105 feature phones, but we are also evaluating other aspects like exporting smartphones …” said Kochhar .

Kochhar claimed that the company is firmly aligned with the government’s Make in India program, emphasizing that India is one of the key markets for HMD Global, not only from a growth point of view, but also for being a lucrative destination for procurement and production.

“Globally, India is one of our destination markets for procurement and manufacturing,” he said. At present, the company purchases many components for feature phones and smartphones locally, and it now intends to double local sourcing further.

“There are plans to pick up more components locally, whatever we can … from India, because it helps us grow the ecosystem in the Indian market,” he said.

While the company is evaluating the export of Nokia smartphones made in India, it is also interested in expanding the export of feature phones to cover additional markets, models and customers, Kochhar explained.

India is a buzzing market for devices and smartphones, and the government aims through various schemes and incentives, including a production-linked incentive (PLI), to strengthen local production of electronic items to position the country as a global production powerhouse.

Asked if the company also plans to manufacture tablets in India, Kochhar said, “we are evaluating it, but we have not started anything.”

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