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Monday, July 2, 2007

Na kiya to kya kiya? Nokia wants to do more!

bdnews24 reports
Nokia is lot more visible in Bangladesh since commencing direct operations on June 4, 2006 (But I could not find out their website, where there office is, location of customer care centers etc. ). It is now a widely recognised mobile phone brand due to a massive campaign bundled with continuous opening of sales and service outlets. Black market dominated the country’s 80 percent of the handset business. "But now it is other way round," said Nokia’s country head Prem Chand while opening the company’s 26th sales outlet – Nokia Care – in Dhaka Sunday. That means more than two "Nokia Care" retail outlets were opened every month in its first year in Bangladesh. Prem Chand said a customer should not travel more than an hour to reach Nokia Care.
He regretted that the concept of "services" is almost nonexistent in Bangladesh while customers are ready to pay for it. Prem said his company sells "Nokia Experience" not just as a phone. "We ensure all types of support and care to every customer in the outlets and that makes us the number one." It was an uphill battle for Nokia to open up its retail chain in a country that was ruled by the black market. Besides, the company has weathered last year’s prolonged political unrest. "But our team remained committed and so had been the channel partners," Prem said. This Australian executive (Indian born Australian huh?) said he would make Bangladesh Nokia’s distribution hub for Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan (No big deal, the market size is negligible in Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal combined, also the last two regions are hilly, so Nokia..thanks but no thanks).
The world number one mobile phone maker had been shy in the exploding mobile market of Bangladesh. It had been banking on Grameen Bank’s corporate sibling – Grameen Telecom – as the sole distributor. But Grameen Telecom that also owns Grameenphone’s 38 percent has failed to reap the benefits of partnership with Nokia. (Does anybody know why?) The Finnish telecom giant has finally scrapped that exclusivity and started spreading its supply chain through various partners across the country. "What’s the point of selling cheaper handsets without being widely present at the customer’s doorstep?" argues Prem Chand responding to a criticism of not selling bellow $30 phones as Motorola does. "We don’t sell and forget," he said referring to "Nokia Care" as the core competence that lifted his company from Finnish obscurity to the global centre stage of dazzling consumer electronics.

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