With almost 10 years at Nokia, Henri Mattila currently serves as Head of Category Marketing, Nseries for Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai, UAE. He is responsible for Nokia’s Nseries Go-to-Market programmes in the area, as well as Nseries Business Management. He has held this position since January 2008.
In his previous position, Business Manager Nseries South East Africa he was responsible for Nseries sales in South and East African countries and was based in Johannesburg, South Africa. During 2004-2006, he was based in Gurgaon, India and was heading Nokia’s enhancements business for South Asia.
Since joining Nokia in 1999, Henri has had several senior positions, including Head of R&D for Hong Kong Product Creation and Senior Manager Business Control for Accessories product line.
Before joining Nokia, Henri gained business experience working as Business Controller for Neste Chemicals, both in the head office in Finland and in the factory in Austria. A Finnish citizen, Henri holds a M.Sc. in technology from Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland.
You have gained a wealth of experience in different countries with Nokia, in an intensely competitive environment. What do you think has attributed to Nokia’s tremendous success in Pakistan?
Henri Mattila: “Nokia is the only mobile phone manufacturer – not only in Pakistan, but all over the world – to offer the largest product portfolio to its consumers. While a large chunk of the Pakistani market is highly price sensitive and opts for entry level devices (mobile phones that are priced at $100 or below), there’s an increasing demand for music-enabled phones and internet-enabled phones in Pakistan. Pakistan is very much at the forefront of technology transformation. That is the reason why we have launched Nokia N97 in Pakistan parallel to its global launch in the rest of our markets in the world. Nokia is a consumer-centric company, our devices are shaped keeping in mind the needs and desires of our consumers. We also truly believe in the “think globally, act locally” strategy which is why we have made it a point to introduce every new Nokia product in Pakistan along with the rest of the world because Pakistani consumers value the latest in technology. Our aim for Pakistan is to make feature-rich devices more affordable for Pakistani consumers and ensure that they have a choice to select from the vast Nokia product portfolio. We make sure that with every Nokia device we deliver to the consumers our promise of reliability, convenience and ease of use is present.”
You are responsible for managing a large team and a diverse product portfolio. What do you think are the essential skills for being an effective leader?
HM: “You have to believe in your team and in their strengths so that they deliver the best they have got. Openness in communication is another important aspect of building a strong, supportive team. At Nokia, we have a casual, fun corporate environment that is helpful in creating a bond between the team and work together towards achieving a common goal.”
What do you believe are the best features of the N97?
HM: “The Nokia N97 combines the best of the mobile phone and the personal computer to create the world’s most powerful multi-media, multi-sensory mobile computer. It has a total of up to 48GB of storage; 32GB of onboard- memory plus optional microSD card. It is built on latest technologies such as HSDPA and WLAN connectivity merged with A-GPS, compass and a 5Megapixel Carl Zeiss optics camera with DVD quality video. Nokia N97 has a highly personalisable user interface. The widget-based customisable home screen of Nokia N97 is optimised for the personally relevant internet. Through widgets, you have one touch access to your favourite online content. Because the always-updated information is right there on your homescreen, you don’t have to waste your time in searching for it online so you get uncompromised usability. The home screen of Nokia N97 also gives access to your top four people with the touch of a button, so the most important people are always on the homescreen.
The Ovi store will also go live in Pakistan with the launch of Nokia N97. It offers solutions to the applications that are already part of the Nokia family. The Ovi store is highly customisable; it helps you to optimise your work life efficiency along with enhancing your social life and entertainment. It has tens of thousands of applications to offer – some of the content is free and the rest of it is available at a price. Ovi gives you more options to have access to both local and relevant content.”
The Nseries has met with great success, what do you feel has led to its popularity?
HM: “Our Nseries range of mobile phones has always aimed to bring the best in class technology to the palm of its consumers. N stands for “next” or “new” in the word ‘Nseries’. Nokia Nseries phones are designed with the Internet in mind. Considering the success statistics around Nokia Nseries phones, one can say with the greatest conviction that Nokia has lived up to the word “new” or rather redefined it for its tech stylist consumers with every new Nseries device launched in the market. There are currently over 90 million Nokia Nseries devices in the hands of people around the world, underlining the increasing popularity of internet mobility among people. The internet convenience bundled with a wide selection of applications makes Nseries a truly iconic range.
Advanced technology meets intelligent design in the Nokia Nseries range to consolidate several multi-media functions and features with superior web browsing to give people greater freedom to connect, create, discover and share highly personalised media and applications online wherever they are.
With a more personal Internet experience, the ways people can use Nokia Nseries devices can be as infinite as their imagination and creativity allows. Whether it’s publishing favorite work-out routes using A-GPS tracking and Sports Tracker application or watching online video, Nokia Nseries gives users a blank canvas upon which to build their own personal Internet experience.
The beauty of a Nokia Nseries device is that taking it out of the box is just the beginning. Just like a desktop PC, people can constantly improve and refresh their Nokia Nseries with new features, functions and fixes so they can do even more with it.”
How can the smuggling of phones be prevented?
HM: “Cellphone smuggling is an issue for all mobile phone manufacturers in Pakistan. With the announcement of a telecom-friendly budget 2009-2010, the Pakistani government has made a great initiative to control the menace of smuggling. Reduction of duties on mobile phones would make them more affordable for Pakistani consumers and at the same time would help Nokia to enter the rural market.”
How do you see the future of the telecoms market in this region?
HM: “The telecom market has a fairly bright future in Pakistan. The mobile phone penetration has shown positive growth and improvement over the past few years. It seems it would continue to grow further because Pakistani government also realises the key contribution of telecom industry towards the growth of its economy.”
What drew you to a career in telecoms?
HM: “I always wanted to be in a fast-moving industry. When I joined Nokia, I got a chance to work around the mobile communications technology that is driven by innovation.”
Where did you study and can you tell us about your work experience prior to joining Nokia?
HM: “I did my M Sc. in Technology from Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland. Before joining Nokia, I gained business experience working as business controller for Neste Chemicals both in the head office in Finland and in the factory in Austria.”