Nokia reentered Nepali market earlier this year after a gap of several years. The Finnish brand has already launched a number of phones in Nepal. These include Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 along with the Nokia 3310 (a nostalgic old-school Nokia phone). Sandeep Gupta, Regional General Manager, Thailand and Emerging Asia, HMD, the Finnish company that manufactures Nokia phones, was recently in Nepal to meet distribution partners and sales team and to launch their latest phone, the Nokia 2. Abhishek Chitrakar of The Kathmandu Post caught up him to talk about Nokia’s plan to expand its footprint in Nepal. Excerpts:
What do you think about the Nepali phone market?
The phone market in Nepal is a fast growing market, almost doubling its size over the last four years. I think that Nepali consumers are very discerning when it comes to buying phones as they know exactly what they want. We have to provide them with devices that they want or else, it will not sell well. The phone market in Nepal is interesting as the consumers’ expectations of smartphones are changing very fast. So, we plan to offer consumers in Nepal the best Nokia products to satisfy their demands.
What type of products will you introduce in Nepal?
We are planning to introduce the latest Nokia smartphones as soon as they are launched globally. Take for example our latest release, the Nokia 2. It was announced globally on October 31 and less than 10 days later, we are launching it in Nepal. We are also planning to launch our flagship device, the Nokia 8 in December. All devices in our product line-up will be available in Nepal by next month.
What do consumers expect from a Nokia phone?
They expect modern smartphones that have sleek design, solid build quality and the latest software. Also, not forgetting the high level of craftsmanship which only Nokia can provide. These are the things that Nokia consumers expect from the brand. Another thing that is a priority with our consumers when they look to buy a new smartphone is the battery life. This is why the Nokia 2 is equipped with a massive 4,100 mAh battery which will easily last over two days on a single charge.
How much market share can Nokia achieve in Nepal?
I don’t want to speculate about market share numbers at this time because it’s too soon. We just introduced our products about 3 months ago, so what I can tell you is that we are selling a lot of phones, both in the feature phone and smartphone category. In the feature phone market, we are already a dominant player that is continuously growing. With regards to the smartphone market in Nepal, we want to be among the top 3 players over the next few years. This is also our target globally. It may seem like an ambitious target but Nokia is an ambitious company. Therefore, I think that’s possible with a good portfolio of phones for a brand like Nokia which has strong market presence in Nepal along with parts of Asia and Europe.