HMD Global Thinking of Turning India Into a Export Hub: Jean Francois Baril

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Jean Francois Baril, Executive Chairman, Nokia, noted the same at the virtual keynote he delivered at the 19th edition of Connect 2020. The company had recently raised $230 million in funding

Jean Francois Baril, executive chairman HMD Global

Nokia Mobile, which does some manufacturing and assembly of mobile phones in India for the local market, is ‘seriously’ thinking of turning the country into an export hub for mobile phones. Jean Francois Baril, Chairman, Nokia, noted the same at the virtual keynote he delivered at the 19th edition of Connect 2020.

“Our motto is to create, source, make and later on export from India and this is currently at a very serious level discussion at the highest level of the company,” said Jean Francois Baril, Executive Chairman, HMD Global.

He also pointed towards the geopolitical crisis taking shape between the West and the East. Baril mentioned that while his company is manufacturing what they sell in India, the sourcing part for the rest of the world is yet to pick up.

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According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, India’s smartphone market shipped 152.5 million units in 2019, with a modest eight per cent year-over-year (YoY) growth. India also became the second largest smartphone market in 2019 after China but was still ahead of the USA. The overall mobile phone market, with annual shipments of 282.9 million units, declined by (-12.3 per cent) YoY in 2019 due to fewer 4G feature phones.

Raised $230 million investment from strategic partners

HMD Global, in August 2020, had announced that it had successfully closed 230 million USD in its first closing of current funding round from some of its top global strategic partners. The company will be using these funds to accelerate the it’s mission to make 5G smartphones accessible to consumers across the world, with an emphasis on strong partnerships with US carriers.

Secondly, HMD Global is further looking to transition to digital-first offerings as part of a new post-COVID reality. The company will also expand its presence in key growth markets including the recently introduced operations in Brazil, as well as Africa and India.

“The investment will help the business strengthen its leading position beyond just hardware and into a holistic mobile service provider,” read HMD’s official statement. HMD Global is now active in 91 markets across 8 regions and 250,000 retail outlets and has sold over 240 million phones to date.

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