Nokia India Manufactures Half a Billion Cellphones

Nokia started its India operations in 1995. The company has come a long way since then. About half a billion devices long. The company has manufactured 500 million devices in India out of its manufacturing plant in Chennai, said the company. Nokia had started by just manufacturing plain vanilla handsets in India, but today over 21 models are made here, including a new dual-SIM model which the company is expected to launch in the near future.

A rare Indian manufacturing success story The manufacturing facility in Sriperumbudur, Chennai, stands on 210.87 acres, and  was started with an initial investment of $210M in January 2006. A subsequent $75M was invested by the company in 2008. It employs some 8,000 people, 70% of them are women. Currently the factory exports to some 50 countries in South East Asia, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, other than catering to the domestic market. Nokia also has a Design Studio in Bangalore (set up in collaboration with Sristi School of Art, Design and Technology) and R&D facilities in Bangalore and Mumbai, besides. The Finnish telecom behemoth had just 450 people in India in 2004, but grew  to over 15,000 employees since then (including Nokia Siemens Networks). India is the second largest market for the company globally.

The 500,000,000th. device The company is organizing a promotion around Nokia India's 500,000,000th device, encouraging Nokia enthusiasts to bid on the device. The phone, a special edition Nokia C3-00 will be signed by Shahrukh Khan to boot, who will also present the device to the highest bidder. The handset is being manufactured in Nokia's Chennai factory. Till the time of publication, the highest bid stood at Rs. 22,074 from a Anshul Agnihotri. Bids can be incremented by Rs 500 to Rs 1500. And if you raise your eyebrows and say, you'd buy anything if Shahrukh were to give it to you, you are not the only one. The winning bid will be matched by Nokia India, and donated to charity.

Ironically, 'No purchase necessary' screams the Nokia website featuring the promotion; which may not be entirely true, given that the whole promotion is an electronic auction which sells the half a billionth handset.