Tarun Chhabra steps in as new Nokia India head amidst global changes

In a recent organizational overhaul, Tarun Chhabra has assumed the role of Nokia India’s new head. This transition follows a global restructuring effort announced by Nokia in October of the previous year.

Alongside Chhabra’s appointment, the restructuring has led to rationalization across various functions within the company, including sales and marketing, resulting in job cuts.

Global Restructuring and Leadership Change

The global restructuring plan, unveiled on October 19, 2023, aimed to realign Nokia’s business operations and reduce its workforce by 11,000-14,000 employees worldwide.

As part of this initiative, Chhabra succeeds Sanjay Malik, who served as the senior vice president in charge of Nokia’s Indian operations for nearly eight years. Malik is expected to continue with the company until March 31, 2024, before transitioning out.

Under the restructuring, Nokia has granted increased operational autonomy to its business groups globally, while optimizing its operating model by integrating sales teams into these groups. The restructuring also includes a reset of the company’s cost base to safeguard profitability amidst market uncertainties.

Impact on Indian Workforce and Business Structure

The restructuring at Nokia India has led to layoffs across central functions, including customer experience, sales, and marketing. Despite a robust financial performance in the previous year, driven by significant 5G contracts, the company reported a 33% decline in net sales in the Indian region for the October-December 2023 period.

The layoffs, which began after the global announcement in October, have affected numerous employees, including senior executives, with some opting to leave due to role changes.

The restructured business now comprises three distinct groups: Mobile Networks, Network Infrastructure, and Cloud Network Services, each with its dedicated sales and marketing teams. Prashant Malkani heads the Network Infrastructure Business Group, while Arvind Khurana leads the Cloud Network Services business in India.

In a statement to Moneycontrol, Nokia stated;

Malik has chosen to retire from the company, effective March 31, 2024. During this period, he will facilitate the transition of responsibilities to Tarun. The proposed changes within Nokia India align with global directives across all markets, emphasizing customer-centric approaches and business excellence.