Emerging Markets Woes (B): Nokia in India and China

Emerging Markets Woes (B): Nokia in India and China
Case Code: BSTR426
Case Length: 10 Pages
Period: 2008-2012
Pub Date: 2013
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization: Nokia Corporation
Industry: Mobile Telecommunication Equipment
Countries: Global; China; India
Themes: Competition, Turnaround Strategy, International Management
Emerging Markets Woes (B): Nokia in India and China
Abstract Case Intro Excerpts


This case discusses how Nokia launched a fight back to maintain its position in key emerging markets of China and India. In 2009, Nokia's mobile phones had commanded a market share of 33% in China and around 60% in India. Nokia dominated the below US$50 priced phone segment in the emerging markets, which formed a major chunk of the market. However, with the entry of local manufacturers offering phones with more features and at a cheaper price range - Nokia began losing its hold on these markets. By 2012, its market share in China had shrunk to 15% and in India to 23% - but it still stood No.1 in terms of market share in the Indian market.

Nokia also faced stiff competition at the higher-end - the smartphone segment - in the developed countries. By early 2012, Nokia was displaced from its number one position (by Samsung) in the global market as well as in the emerging market of China. The slumping market share had become a major concern for the company and its CEO Stephen Elop (Elop) - in both developed and emerging economies. The company was more concerned about the emerging economies as it considered them to be its driver for future growth. The question before the management was how to arrest the erosion of its market share in these two key markets.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand how Nokia was trying to fend off competitors from emerging low cost rivals in India and China
  • Understand key issues and challenges for an MNC while operating in emerging markets
  • Study the turnaround efforts of Nokia and explore further steps that the company could take in turning around its fortunes in India and China



Competition; Competitive strategy; Low cost competitors; Hyper competition; International Management; Turnaround strategy; Emerging markets; Mobile phone industry; China; India; Nokia

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