'Five Minutes' with Sanmeet Kochhar, regional head, HMD Global MENA and India

What makes the regional head for the Finnish mobile phone company tick?

HMD Global, Nokia, Smartphone

What is your current role in the ICT industry in the Middle East and what are your responsibilities?

I am the regional head for HMD Global in the Middle East, North Africa and India, so I lead the business in these markets. This means that I am responsible for managing the day-to-day operations, driving our partners’ collaborations and engagements, and for ensuring that our customers get the best experience when they use their Nokia smartphones.

HMD Global is a Finnish mobile phone company, which took over the mobile phone business of Nokia. HMD Global began marketing phones under the Nokia brand in December 2016. The company has exclusive rights to the Nokia brand for mobile phones through a licensing agreement.

What is the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is that I am driving change in a dynamic environment, so there’s always something new and exciting to look forward to every day. Moreover, the markets that I manage are witnessing rapid growth, so there is still an opportunity to learn something new or manage new challenges.

How innovative do you think the network industry in the Middle East is and how can it improve?

The network industry in the Middle East is growing, and 5G will drive innovation in 2020. Our focus is to deliver affordable phones that support 5G. Increasingly, the network industry is led by artificial intelligence and machine learning through software. But at the same time, the hardware is getting commoditised.

Favourite film?       A Few Good Men
iOS or Android?     Android
Favourite gadget?   My Nokia 7.2
Favourite band/musician?    Bryan Adams
Favourite book?      The Godfather by Mario Puzo

What are the upcoming trends or products in your sector?

As mentioned previously, the hardware is increasingly getting commoditised. While consumers still want smartphones with good hardware, it is software that defines a smartphone both from feature and function perspectives. The diffrentiating factor is in what the software can offer to make that hardware go further.

Increasingly, we are also seeing that people are concerned about the security of their data. Therefore, brands must enable a seamless experience for their customers while ensuring their privacy.

Does your company utilise virtualisation or cloud computing?

Nokia mobile devices use Google services like Google photos on our devices, which inherently rely on cloud computing.

What are your out-of-office hobbies?

I like to play badminton and table tennis. I also enjoy listening to music.

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