HCL West Africa is a joint venture being developed with HCL Info-Systems of India.
HCL is a business enterprise with presence in the fields of technology and healthcare. Founded in 1976 as one of India's original IT garage startups, the HCL enterprise currently comprises of three companies in India - HCL Technologies, HCL Infosystems and HCL Healthcare with annual revenues of US$ 6.5 billion and over 95,000 professionals from diverse nationalities operating across 31 countries including over 500 points of presence in India. In the technology space, HCL’s offerings span a wide range of software and hardware services and solutions including R&D, technology services, enterprise and applications consulting,
Remote Infrastructure Management, IT hardware, systems integration, distribution of technology and telecom products. A new entrant in healthcare, HCL aims to provide innovative medical services, products and training to meet the growing demand for quality healthcare in India.
The India distributorship of Nokia is HCL Info’s biggest source of revenue and the acquisition is seen as a logical extension of the firm’s Nokia business to Africa and Middle East.
Africa is considered the last continent where prospects for strong growth in mobile telephony exist. Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel recently bought out Kuwait-based Zain Telecom’s businesses in Africa for more than $12 billion in what was seen as an attempt to keep growing as the domestic market races towards saturation.
HCL Info, which is unofficially estimated to generate nearly a third of its revenues from its Nokia business, has faced headwinds in both its handset as well as branded PC business. According to market research firm IDC India, Nokia saw its marketshare slide alarmingly to 31.5% from 36.3% in just three months ended September.
The acquisition will give HCL Info a crucial opening into the Middle East and Africa — one of the few zones where Nokia still has a large marketshare, besides India. However, company officials pointed out that the acquired firm will be distributing only Nokia’s smartphones, while the ‘non smart’ phones will continue to be under the parent Techmart. "It is an opportunity to share best practices...
We can bring our expertise of managing a far flung distribution and customer care operations to help the new company," said an official.