When I read that Nokia was down grading its Nairobi office to just the sales office, I wasn’t shocked, it was a matter of when not if. But I expected the changes to be more mild.
I started thinking of a blog post and several ideas came to mind. Like I wanted to focus on Nokia’s failure to produce more smartphones at cheaper rates, however crappy the smartphone is, we just want it for show off. I am sure you have seen people showing off their iPhones and Blackberries while or they do is call and receive and maybe two emails a day…ohhh Facebook too 🙂 few of us use more than three apps.
Nokia has focussed on low end phones, bringing in the twin SIMs five years too late and not recognizing the Chinese threat early enough. I am sure you can think of your own reasons why Nokia is failing.
But, look on the constructive side, Nokia has probably done more for students, developers and businesses more than any other phone company. Nokia research has a base at the University of Nairobi, the work at the ihub and mlab is great and I am just wondering whether there is any other phone manufacturer in Kenya that has invested as much within Kenya’s developer community.
Its ok for us to dismiss Nokia but can you imagine the company invested in a marketing exercise where they introduced developers of corporates like banks etc. I am not privy to whether some of the ideas were stolen or not but the mere gesture is impressive.
Having a regional office comes with a bigger budget but in comparison, South Africa provides a bigger market for the Finnish manufacturer and if investments in the country will mean more sales, then South Africa it will be.
Nokia might say that they will continue with the initiatives they had in the country but the probability of support and investment dwindling is almost natural.
Technology is dynamic and it has done to Nokia what it does to companies that fail to move fast and predict market trends and match it up with innovation.
For now, lets see how Kenya performs as a sales office 🙂