People in agriculture, healthcare and education fields to benefit

Further increasing its engagement with the Indian market, Nokia is now focussing on strengthening its utility services called Life Tools that provide information to users on agriculture, healthcare and education. With a “knowledge desk” well set at its Bangalore R&D centre, the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer is planning to add more utility services to help and empower various communities, particularly farmers.

“Nokia Life Tools began as a pilot project three years ago and now it is a potent and successful information tool for Nokia phone users, making a positive impact on the lives of people — be it farmers, women or students. We already have 1.7 crore users of this service…with mobile penetration increasing fast, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas, we hope to connect 70 per cent of Indians through Life Tools,” Nokia India Head (Emerging Markets Services) B. V. Natesh told this correspondent.

“We started with providing information to farmers in Maharashtra on topics related to sowing and care of crops, weather forecast and prices in the local wholesale market. Now this service is available pan-India, with information available in local languages with local contents.

“We have a team of dedicated agriculture professionals doing research and providing information, besides 26 specific partnerships for in-depth knowledge. We now plan to provide information related to horticulture, dairy farming and fisheries to add to the income of Indian farmers,” Mr. Natesh said.

Two other major services being offered under Nokia Service Tools are related to education and healthcare. “We started healthcare service three months ago focussing mainly on lifestyle management and diseases that Indians are more prone to, like diabetes, heart ailments and respiratory problems. We are also providing information to women that are related to pregnancy and child care. All the information being given is purely preventive in nature and not diagnostic…we have got tremendous response,” he said.

Referring to special focus of Nokia Life Tools on education, Mr. Natesh said besides giving lessons on general knowledge and English, they had tied up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University for their English certificate course, where Nokia would provide study reinforcement module on its Life Tools platform for students enrolling in the course.

Talks with IGNOU

“We are in talks with IGNOU to introduce such modules for their other regular courses too,” he added.

Giving details about how the Life Tools service works, Mr. Natesh said it comes pre-loaded with almost all Nokia handsets, starting at Rs.1,200.

“A user just needs to pay Rs.30 per month for each service and he gets all useful information through SMS. We also provide need-based service where Rs.3 is charged per SMS,'' Mr. Natesh added.