Another 500 to be shifted to Accenture

Mobile phone maker Nokia will cut 300 jobs in India and outsource another 500 as part of its global restructuring programme announced on Thursday.

The job cut will happen over the next one year from its Research & Development unit in Bangalore. Another 500 developers working on the Symbian platform will be shifted to Accenture as part of a global deal. Nokia currently has 10,000 employees in India of which 1,500 people are working at the R&D centre.

Symbian platform

Globally, Nokia has announced that it will lay off 4,000 workers while 3,000 employees will be shifted to Accenture to cut costs. The handset maker had earlier announced plans to eventually phase out the Symbian operating system as it rolls out smartphones next year running on Microsoft's Windows Phone software.

“Compared to the worldwide numbers, the impact in India is very minimal. We have established a bridge programme to support employees who will lose their job,” Ms Poonam Kaul, spokesperson for Nokia India, told Business Line. The restructuring is part of its attempts to consolidate its R&D set up globally, so that each centre has a clear mandate for developing a specific product. The re-sized Indian centre, which till now has been working on multiple products, has been entrusted with the responsibility of developing the services portfolio of Nokia.

“Most of the services such as Nokia Life Tools were started in India. Hence from now on the R&D centre here will focus only on services,” Ms Kaul said. There will be no impact on Nokia's manufacturing base in the country. For those who will lose their job, Nokia will offer re-employment support including investments that encourage entrepreneurship. “The bridge programme comprises of four supported paths for affected employees including providing assistance in identifying new job opportunities within Nokia and offering venture capital to those interested in starting a new business of their own,” Ms Kaul said. The employees affected by the reduction plans would remain on Nokia payroll till 2011-end.

Reorganisation drive

Nokia has been losing market share especially in the smartphone segment to the likes of Apple and Research In Motion. Mr Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft executive who became Nokia chief executive in September, said the cuts and reorganisation were needed to prepare Nokia for its new partnership with Microsoft.

(This article was published on April 27, 2011)
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