In his first media interaction since that massive restructuring and Alcatel deal, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri talked to Economic Times about his company’s vision and the prospects post the massive, over $16 Bn Alcatel deal. And while most of that interaction was on the business side, what interested us, was Suri’s announcement for setting up a 5G Internet-Of-Things Research Lab in Bengaluru.

The lab, which is going to be Nokia’s fifth such venture globally, will be the first one Nokia will put up in India. Nokia has other such ones in US, China, Japan and Korea.

Talking about how India is among Nokia’s top five markets, and his company’s plans with India, Suri said,

We do everything in India that we do globally and it is the largest country by headcount for us globally.We will be setting up a 5G Internet of Things (IoT) lab in Bengaluru which is one of five globally.

Suri declined to roll out specifics related to the kind of investment and headcount this new lab might get, but he confirmed that the Bengaluru lab will come up by the end of the year.

India, largely known for software and internet based startups and new-age companies, has been largely devoid of some breakthrough names in the field of IoT and hardware as a whole. While a few Indian startups have been rolling out consumer related hardware products, IoT within the country is still at a very nascent stage.

Nokia’s attempt thus, to bring up such a lab, dedicated to IoT Research and Development could be a big boost to budding IoT entrepreneurs and existing startups within the country, who are still looking out for more support from the ecosystem.

Commenting further on the role this lab will play, Suri said,

The main purpose of that centre is basically to capture the requirements of the customers from the emerging market around 5G and IoT, so that it can fit into our overall product portfolio in the IoT space. This is the first of its kind built close to emerging markets.

ET also quipped Suri about the lamenting Chennai plant issue, which was left out of the Microsoft deal and has been a thorn in Nokia’s reputation ever since. Suri replied,

We tried to get a buyer and there is still interest in buying. Foxconn is coming to India, they want to do stuff. There are other local parties that are interested.


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