Nokia introduces microfinance schemes to push sales


New Delhi : Nokia India Wednesday said it will roll out microfinancing schemes in 12 states in an effort to push its mobile phone penetration in the country.

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“India is second in terms of the company’s revenue. We have tied up with a host of stakeholders to deliver this service to our customers,” said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, president and chief executive of Nokia Corp.

“We aim to remove the affordability barrier,” Kallasvuo told reporters here.

Nokia initially offered microfinancing scheme on a pilot basis in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Under this project, the company is offering an easy payment scheme as low as Rs.100 per week over a period of time.

Nokia is also planning to venture into netbooks, which are small, light and inexpensive laptop computers suited for general computing, accessing web-based applications and rich internet applications.

“We are in discussions with Intel for a product in the convergence market,” said D. Shivakumar, vice-president and managing director of Nokia India.

Nokia, with 190,000 retail outlets across the country, Wednesday also launched an information solution called “Nokia Life Tools” for easy access to news and information relating to agriculture, education and entertainment.

“As we introduce Life Tools and microfinancing options across India, we are forging associations with multiple stakeholders to effectively deliver solutions that create opportunities for financial and social well-being for rural consumers,” Shivakumar said.

Nokia, which has about 1.1 billion users globally, has its biggest manufacturing facility in Chennai.

“We have invested about $250 million in the Chennai unit and have employed 8,000 people,” Kallasvuo said, adding: “We export almost half of our production to 59 countries.”