Nokia will expand its micro-financing schemes to push its handset sales in India, its second largest market in terms of revenues.

The company plans to start its micro-financing schemes in 12 States, covering major rural markets, to push sales in the country. It has tied up with a number of stakeholders to deliver this service to its customers, Nokia Corporation President and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said here on Wednesday.

Nokia has also launched an information solution — Nokia Life Tools — for easy access to news and information relating to agriculture, education and entertainment. He said the company was planning to further consolidate its market leadership position by offering low-cost handsets. Nokia recently launched a scheme in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka offering its handsets on a weekly instalment of Rs. 100 over 25 weeks. Informing that sales of high-end smartphones were also registering good growth, the head of the Finnish multinational said India would remain one of the company’s top growth markets, as 81 per cent of mobile users in the country were in urban areas.

Mr. Kallasvuo also said the fast-growing communication sector would emerge as the single-largest contributor to the country’s GDP, with a 15.4 per cent share (Rs. 8.65-lakh crore) by 2014-15. Quoting a Nokia study — Economic Impact of the Communication Sector in India — he said the communication sector had a significant impact on the employment in India as well. The study predicts that the sector would generate additional 85-lakh jobs by 2014-15. “The study reinforces the view that the communication sector will continue to be an engine of the Indian economy over the next years. There is plenty of potential for growth in the sector considering that the teledensity is currently only around 39.8 per cent,” he added.

Nokia also plans to venture into netbooks, which is small, light and inexpensive laptop computers suited for general computing, accessing web-based applications and rich Internet applications. “We are in discussions with Intel for a product in the convergence market,” said Nokia India Vice-President and Managing Director D. Shivakumar.

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