Research In Motion (RIM) pioneered the concept of on-your-hip email back in the late nineties with its first BlackBerry phone. The company quickly cornered the market for secure corporate emails. Its elite clientele comprised busy executives who relied on their BlackBerry devices to stay in touch with their clients and their offices. But competition soon followed and RIM lost market share to Apple’s iPhone and devices using Google’s Android technology.
Unfazed, BlackBerry’s fight to stay relevant has begun and its new platform and phones are raising surprised eyebrows, especially among those who had written off the company and its previous products. With a strong focus on emerging markets, it is moving very aggressively in India in terms of investments and positioning its products for customers here. The new devices will be launched here soon. It is also innovating locally to be more relevant to its customer and partners.
“India is one of the largest emerging markets in the world for BlackBerry,” admits Sunil Dutt, managing director—India, BlackBerry. Sunil has a deep understanding of the Indian consumer and a demonstrated capability to define new markets and businesses. His ability to successfully compete in extremely aggressive industries has been the hallmark of his career. In a wide-ranging interview with Sudhir Chowdhary, the BlackBerry MD shares his plans to intensify operations in India. Excerpts:
BlackBerry has significantly lost market share in recent years. What went wrong, why did you lag behind?
I won’t say anything went wrong, but yes, we were a bit late in getting the right products into the hands of the customers. In America and some other countries, the carriers had a quick requirement as they were migrating their network to the 4G/LTE platform. Another thing was that we were in the process of getting a new platform and we wanted to get it right. We wanted all the new devices to be on the new platform in order to match up with the needs of the customers.
From a global perspective, we are growing everywhere including India. The adoption of mail-on-the-go is very strong and very popular. For people, no matter what kind of new products that the competition has come up with, the email experience of BlackBerry still remains the best. Most people who own a BlackBerry are addicted.
Other than that we have matched up to the needs of the rest of the world. And yes, with BlackBerry 10 coming up now, we