Nokia has been on a long losing streak in India. The company that had ruled the market with more than 50% market share has come down to a market share of 25%. The loss of Nokia has been picked up by Indian players (from 0.9% in Q1-2008 to 33.2% in Q2-2010), Chinese Players (like G’Five) and international players like Samsung.

Nokia loses the most trusted brand status

What must be more worrying for Nokia is the fact that it had to relinquish the No.1 spot, which it had held for 3 consecutive years, to Colgate in the recent Brand Equity survey. Not only did Nokia loose the No.1 spot, but it also dropped down to the fifth spot. Considering that gaining brand value is a tougher act than gaining market share, it is a major blow to Nokia’s future in India.

Unsurprisingly most pundits have written off the company and the jury is out on when and not whether Nokia will lose the top spot in the Indian market. However all is not lost for the company in India. It is not simple bravado when Nokia says that it plans to capture back its 50% market share in India.

In order to understand Nokia’s strategy for a comeback, we must keep in mind that Nokia’s loss of market share was primarily due to two issues.

  • Nokia’s absence from the dual sim market.
  • Lack of good smart phone OS and its app eco system.

Indian manufacturers grew because of Nokia’s absence from the dual sim market


Nokia failed to appreciate how popular dual sim phones are in India. Nokia was virtually absent from this segment that accounted for more than 1/3 rd of all mobile handsets sold in India. Indian manufacturers have rode this demand for dual sim phones to corner more than 30% of the market.

However over the last several months Nokia has been extremely focused in this segment and has released some great dual sim phones including Nokia X2-01, Nokia C1-01 and Nokia C2-03. With Nokia C2-03, the company seems to have finally cracked the success formula.

Nokia is advertising its way to the top

Nokia is using heavy advertisement to retain its dominance in the Indian market. As can be seen from this AdEx India report, Nokia is the largest advertiser in the cellular market with 4 out of the 10 most heavily advertised mobiles belonging to it.



According to a report by Cyber Media Research, Nokia enjoyed a 99% awareness level among people and more than 56% top of mind recall. Those are really impressive numbers. We should not forget that even though Nokia has lost its top spot among most trusted brands, it is #5 overall and way ahead of other handset brands. That brand advantage will come into play as Nokia launches full scale attack to regain its lost territory.

Brand-wise Scores on ‘Total Awareness’: India Mobile Handset Users


Total Awareness Score (%)











Windows phone will provide Nokia the edge at the top end of the market

While Nokia’s devices have always been right at the top in terms of hardware, its Symbian OS lagged behind iOS and Android in the software domain. That is set to change as Nokia introduces its Windows based smart phones. It is worth noting that Nokia has managed to remain the No.1 smart phone maker even with its Symbian OS. While it is hard to guess if the Windows OS will be as good as Android and iOS, it is safe to assume that it will be significantly better than the Symbian OS.

According to the latest “State of the Mobile Web” report by Opera, all the top 10 mobile handsets used by Indians to access Internet on Opera browser belonged to Nokia.


Nokia has started to leverage its vast distribution network by allowing people to get their doubts clarified at its Nokia priority centers. In order to bolster chances of its recently launched Lumia phones in India, the company is planning to allow users to get experience the phone at its more than 5,000 retail centers. This is a strategy that its rivals will find extremely difficult to match.

Considering the brand loyalty for Nokia in the Indian market and its unparalleled distribution network, Nokia is well positioned to make a comeback. At least it has got the direction right. It will be interesting to watch if it can continue to execute on the new directions and what its rivals will do to stop it.

This was a guest post by Sitakanta who is running a mobile and price comparison engine things sold online in India. If you want to find out the price of any particular Nokia mobile then you can check the page for nokia mobile price available at Do give a spin and share your feedback with him at sitakanta[@]

Also Read:

Raju is the founder-editor of Technology Personalized. A proud geek and an Internet freak, who is also a social networking enthusiast. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Mail Raju PP. Follow rajupp