Even as there is no clear indication on any possible job losses post the merger with Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent will ensure that it does not repeat the mistakes made in the past.
Both Nokia and Alcatel had gone through a painful restructuring process after merging with Siemens and Lucent respectively, leading to cost cutting and job losses.
Speaking to BusinessLine , Tim Krause, Chief Marketing Officer at Alcatel-Lucent, said: “Both companies (Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent) have worked through that mergers and learned a lot, so I am certain the mistakes that were made in those days would not be made again”
Many analysts have expressed concern that Nokia’s $16.6 billion acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent could lead to layoffs, including in India, due to overlaps in businesses. The French company employs about 2,500 engineers at R&D labs across Gurgaon, Chennai and Bengaluru, and has about 1,000 sales personnel in India. Asked to comment on the possible number of job cuts, he said that there was no answer at this point.
“The couple of key differences during the earlier mergers were that the merger was one of equals, and it introduced a lot of compromises in the management and caused a lot of difficulties in executing the merger,” he said.
“Both the companies were financially weak, which was problematic from the execution point of view.”
Krause said things have changed today, with both companies in a much better shape and a better market environment. “Both sides will quickly integrate the businesses.”
The merger, however, seems to have not gone too well with the investors with both the companies’ shares falling following the announcement.
Krause dismissed the concerns saying its clients are supporting the deal. “Our customers are one hundred per cent in favour of what we have proposed as the merger will make us a stronger player in the marketplace. The merger would also help in re-architecting everything about the network, IT, cloud infrastructure and the wireless infrastructure as we look forward to it,” Krause added.
Srini Sundararajan, MD and President at Alcatel-Lucent India, said the company is looking to get more deals, including from the Government sector. “With the exponential rise in smartphones, every operator is looking at expanding its network. We are also interested in the smart city and digital India programmes of the Government,” said Sundararajan.