INDIA – This morning I came across an interesting (though eye-cripplingly long) interview with Nokia CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, by the Indian bureau of The Economic Times. As emerging markets go, India is a 24-carat golden child – a hotbed of diverse mobile developments and innovation, Nokia has been at the heart of this rapid evolution. Sifting through this interview, Kallasvuo is clearly excited by what’s happening in India and highlights how bright the future is looking in terms of innovation.
“We are doing a lot of R&D work and have a design centre here. And it is very important when it comes to innovation and design. And when it comes to Nokia Siemens networks, we have our global headquarters here… A lot of innovation will happen in this area. I’m sure considering India is a leader in entertainment, and entertainment will soon go mobile. Here, we can innovate and can export to other markets. As far as size and diversity of operations go, only Finland matches India. We need to establish India as a hub that exports innovation and also people… We have more Indians in Helsinki than we have Finns working here.”
He also touches on the importance of providing a total solution to people, giving music as an example of where things are headed and how the mobile landscape for Nokia is shifting.
“We are selling a device and a service together, more and more, in order to sell a solution to the consumer. It’s not enough if the device has a music player capability. But the access to music in order to make that music player capability useful has to be there in a seamless and clear manner… This, of course, means that you get new competition in the form of people who are playing in this industry. Here, Apple and Google are good examples of our new competitors like camera manufacturers became our competitors when we added that functionality. I believe adding the service element on device will be big.”
When asked whether Nokia is working on similar solutions in other product categories outside things such as pre-loaded music on phones, Kallasvuo confirms this ambition, highlighting a new term he dubs ‘Virtual Me’.
“The functionality that we can add to a mobile phone is immense. We can make the device multi-functional and it’s the centre of our thinking. We are constantly looking at opportunities to expand into adjacent categories but all our innovation and thinking will be around the mobile phone, what I call a ‘Virtual Me’. The device is a hardware platform on which you can constantly download software applications. There is a very active community at Symbian that’s adding to the totality of mobile devices.”
Interesting stuff. If you’re living in India let us know what you think is most exciting about the rapid evolution of mobile technology in your area. Similarly, whatever country you’re living in, what is mobile life like for you? Let us know in the comments section below.