An Interaction With The Nokia CEO At Entrepreneurship Conclave XIMB
XIMB with its Entrepreneurship Cell, X-Seed organised “Xavion 2017”, one of the biggest Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summits conducted by BSchools. This time the theme of this Global Entrepreneurship Summit was “Under-30: Bridge the Gap” with a special focus on entrepreneurship in the field of Media, Politics, and Sports. The 3-day event started with a panel discussion on “Social Entrepreneurship with esteemed speakers, was followed various events such as a workshop on “How to profitably run a start-up?”, also a conclave on Women Entrepreneurship with eminent speakers such as Mrs Garima Sahai, CEO Svadha, previously worked with World Bank, Mrs.Nandita Mathur, Deputy Editor of Livemint, and with other renowned women entrepreneurs. The final day of Xavion’17 was concluded with a Global Business Conclave was based on the theme “Entrepreneurship and Social Norms” with some of the biggest veterans of business world like Mr Ajey Mehta, Country Head HMD Global, CEO, Nokia India, Ms. AinaraKaur, Ex-CMO, Myntra, Mr. UdippanBagchi, Vice President and Global Head of Insurance, NTT Japan and Mr. Srinivashan Iyer, Founder, HR Club and CEO M-power Business.
Nokia, a name that signifies nostalgia, longevity and more than anything an emotion and trust, memories that take us back to the early days of mobile usage in India. It was our great honour and privilege to interact with one of the luminaries of Indian business, Mr Ajey Mehta at Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB).
As MBA students, we are curious to know how you related the humdrum classroom teachings with work and how it helped you learn to handle huge responsibilities in big organisations.
Mr. Ajey Mehta: So, the concepts that we learn establish the basics of what we do. For me, the concepts and the projects that we do, the interaction that you have with industries while you are doing those projects those have stayed with me. So for example, I had a summer project with ITC back 20-25 years ago, that gave me a good understanding of sales, distribution and marketing. So, a lot of the concepts that you learn are relevant and base level of your life. Hence it is important that you learn, understand the basics and then make sure you keep brushing up on them throughout your career.
As one of the veterans in the business world and an MBA graduate yourself, what is your advice for any MBA student, specially who wants to start his own venture?
I think the most important thing is to enjoy working. Make sure that your job is your passion and you must feel energised doing what you are doing. Getting up from the bed and going to work every morning, if you don’t enjoy every morning it will become a trap and you won’t deliver your best. So, I think the single most important thing is to very clear about your passion and not follow the masses. I have also done it in the past, I have followed the masses and didn’t deliver. It’s very important to know where your strength lie, and what energises you. When you are much more clear on that then you can go head and follow your dreams.
Nokia for most Indians signifies nostalgia. How do you plan to leverage this to make a comeback in the Indian market?
Nokia has been a very trusted and loved brand in India; in fact, all over the world. The brand was once the most recognised brands in the world (even ahead of Coca Cola). It continues to be a very admired brand.
Now, as we prepare to launch the next chapter of Nokia smartphones, the challenge would be to evolve the brand in a manner that appeals to consumers of today – millennials. In doing so, we will retain the good values of Nokia – Trust, Reliability, Ease of use for consumers. But, at the same time focus on qualities that really matter in today’s fast-paced, digital world. There is a lot of exciting stuff happening on this front and I would be happy to share this at a later date with you all.
Is HMD global a move to rebrand Nokia or is it a long time strategic plan to build Microsoft’s platform?
So, HMD Global, the Home of Nokia Phones is a Finnish start-up. We are the exclusive brand licensees for Nokia brand of smartphones and tablets. Our long-term strategy is to bring meaningful technology to consumers. We will launch Nokia branded smartphones on Android, and focus on improving core experiences by offering phones that are premium in design and build quality. We are focused on building Nokia as the most loved and trusted brands in the consumer technology category.
Brief about the speech at Xavion, Annual Entrepreneurship Summit at XIMB.
I want to talk about my experiences, learning that I had in my career. Also, a little bit about my journey in Nokia. It’s been a very interesting journey; we were the Market Leader, Challengers, Laggards and now we are ready to grow again. I will focus on Nokia Story and some of my personal insights. I hope they find it interesting.
Sir our students are extremely excited to see you today. How do you feel about coming to XIMB and interacting with our students?
I am very excited, energised and that’s why I have come so early maybe half an hour before the scheduled time. I really look forward to the day. I thank the student communities of XIMB for having me over, it’s really a privilege on my part.