As part of the rejig, Nokia Tuesday named Tarun Chhabra as its new India country manager from April 1

Finland’s Nokia is undergoing a significant organisational restructuring of its India operation, eliminating key job profiles of the CFO, CTO and legal affairs head and creating three business groups (BGs) as part of cost-cutting moves likely resulting in around 250-odd job redundancies, people familiar with the matter said.

The rejigs and job cuts—in line with global restructuring at the telecom equipment maker—come amid a weak India business environment in the face of reducing 5G capex spends by top telcos Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio as well as major customer Vodafone Idea’s continuing financial struggles.

As part of the rejig, Nokia Tuesday named Tarun Chhabra as its new India country manager from April 1. Chhabra, who takes over from Sanjay Malik, who retires on March 31, will continue to head Nokia India’s mobile networks and will report to Tommi Uitto, president-mobile networks at parent Nokia.

Under the new organisation structure, Nokia India will have three major business groups—mobile networks, cloud & network services (CNS) and network infrastructure (comprising the IP, optical transport systems and fixed networks businesses) with separate operations and finance heads, the people said.

Nokia confirmed the organisation restructuring. “The operational model is designed to give more autonomy and independence to the business groups and provide better agility and speed to support our customers in India and globally,” Nokia said in an emailed response to ET’s queries.

The company added that it’s taking action on three levels, as in, strategic, operational and cost fronts. “We are accelerating our strategy execution by giving business groups more operational autonomy, streamlining our operating model by embedding sales teams into the business groups and resetting our cost-base to protect profitability.”

Bulk of the job redundancies are believed to be in Nokia India’s sales and operations functions, with several senior managers, including account directors/account managers in the rank of general manager/assistant vice president likely impacted, people aware said.

They added that some managers in Nokia India’s R&D units and global service delivery centres are also impacted, though there have been no cuts in the near-5,000-strong workforce of its Chennai manufacturing unit. Nokia India employs some 17,000 people across functions.

The organisational rejig comes amid the Finnish gear maker’s worldwide organisational restructuring exercise that could result in cutting down up to 14,000 jobs globally.

It also comes in the wake of a 33% sequential fall in Nokia’s India net sales to 379 million euros (around Rs 3,388 crore) in Q4 2023, after key customers Airtel and Jio cut 5G capex spends, having almost completed their pan-India rollouts.

Nokia Corp CEO Pekka Lundmark had recently attributed the India sales decline in Q4 2023 to normalisation of telco investments and flagged top-line challenges for the Finnish gear maker in 2024 amid a more normalised pace of network-related investments in India.

He had added that Nokia India had also suffered declines in its network infrastructure business on both the optical and fixed networks fronts.

  • Published On Feb 26, 2024 at 09:18 AM IST

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