By Supantha Mukherjee
BARCELONA (Reuters) – Nokia announced plans on Sunday to change its brand identity for the first time in nearly 60 years, complete with a new logo, as the telecom equipment maker focuses on aggressive growth.
The new logo comprises five different shapes forming the word NOKIA. The iconic blue color of the old logo has been dropped for a range of colours depending on the use.
“There was the association to smartphones and nowadays we are a business technology company,” Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark told Reuters in an interview.
He was speaking ahead of a business update by the company on the eve of the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) which opens in Barcelona on Monday and runs until March 2.
After taking over the top job at the struggling Finnish company in 2020, Lundmark set out a strategy with three stages: reset, accelerate and scale. With the reset stage now complete, Lundmark said the second stage is beginning.
While Nokia still aims to grow its service provider business, where it sells equipment to telecom companies, its main focus is now to sell gear to other businesses.
“We had very good 21% growth last year in enterprise, which is currently about 8% of our sales, (or) 2 billion euros ($2.11 billion) roughly,” Lundmark said. “We want to take that to double digits as quickly as possible.”
Major technology firms have been partnering with telecom gear makers such as Nokia to sell private 5G networks and gears for automated factories to customers, mostly in the manufacturing sector.
Nokia plans to review the growth path of its different businesses and consider alternatives, including divestment.
“The signal is very clear. We only want to be in businesses where we can see global leadership,” Lundmark said.
Nokia’s move toward factory automation and datacentres will also see them locking horns with big tech companies, such as Microsoft and Amazon.
“There will be multiple different types of cases, sometimes they will be our partners … sometimes they can be our customers… and I am sure that there will also be situations where they will be competitors.”
The market to sell telecom gear is under pressure with macro environment denting demand from high-margin markets such as North America, being replaced by growth in low-margin India, pushing rival Ericsson to lay off 8,500 employees.
“India is our fastest growing market that has lower margins – this is a structural change,” Lundmark said, adding that Nokia expects North America to be stronger in the second half of the year.
($1 = 0.9482 euros)
(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Barcelona; Editing by Mike Harrison)