Exclusive Interview with Kamran Masood Niazi Communication Manager Microsoft Pakistan (Interviewed By Amir A. Khan)
- There was a time when Nokia stood among those handfuls mobile phone manufacturers who offered warranty in Pakistan. Today we have a number of world-known names in mobile phone markets while Nokia has been taken over by Microsoft. How would you comment on the change that has taken place in the market and within the brand?
Nokia was the first global brand to enter the Pakistani market when the telecom sector was in its infancy. We have witnessed the growth and change in both the industry and the Pakistan market. Warranty and after sales service on our mobile phones is something that we take great pride in. We are now part of the Microsoft family, but our commitment to providing this same excellent consumer value and peace of mind has not changed.
- Microsoft Mobile Devices is the new Nokia now. Being its Communications Manager, how do you intend to create public awareness about this change?
Our transition from Nokia to Microsoft Mobile Devices has been a thoughtful one. There is a global brand recognition and love which many of our consumers have for the Nokia name. However, we feel equally confident about the positive perception of the Microsoft brand. With the introduction of the Microsoft Lumia 535 late last year, we introduced the first Microsoft-branded Lumia smartphone. Despite the name change, the Lumia product range still stands for an excellent consumer experience. This is now even further enhanced by the seamless integration of hardware and software in the phones as one company.
Will you make amends in the services you offer or you intend to continue with Microsoft in the same manner as you did with Nokia?
Nokia was at the helm of innovation in the mobile phone industry. It set unmatched standards in mobile technology with the first SMS, first camera phone etc. More so, the design quality, mobile phone imaging excellence and product reliability have been unrivaled within the industry. We plan to continue to provide this innovation but consumers may see some changes to the current portfolio of services, particularly on some of the legacy Nokia platforms, as we introduce new Microsoft services.
- Any suggestion for the mobile phone buyers? Any advice that could help them in buying or claiming warranty of a phone.
Mobile phone buyers have so much choice now in terms of products, services and after sales support. My advice would be for consumers to do thorough research prior to their purchase to find the mobile phone that is just right for them in terms of their needs. Also, use official retail channels to ensure you only purchase genuine products that offer a valid warranty in the country. This will safeguard you in case of any after sales requirements.
- After the launch of 3G/4G services, how do you see the expansion of telecom sector in terms of revenue, subscribers and services?
As I mentioned earlier that the progression in the telecom sector is complimenting the development of the mobile phone industry, the launch of 3G and 4G services in Pakistan have given a boost to smartphones across the board.
As more and more people are purchasing 3G & 4G-enabled devices, this suggests that the telecom sector is poised to see massive growth opportunities.
Keeping up with the pulse of the market, Microsoft Mobile Devices is also bringing the Lumia experience to more and more price points. Thus, people from all socioeconomic groups can experience the wonders of Windows Phones and enjoy the wave of 3G and 4G services that have taken the country by storm.
- The telecom sector kicked off with the help of international mobile phones, later joined by local manufacturers; however, recent past has seen the entry of both local and international brands in the market. The users are mesmerized by the available options of Smartphones. Do you think that the sector could aid our economy in a better way if further regulated?
The mobile phone market in Pakistan is growing increasingly. As per the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, there was a 6.15% increase in mobile phone imports during the first five months of the current fiscal year, as compared to the same period last year. This means that this industry has a significant contribution towards economic development in the country and a testimony for the government to support us more.
- Give us your comments about 2014? Was it fruitful, if not what issues did you face in this year and what future of Mobile Phone Industry u are looking for in 2015?
The year 2014 was a tremendous year for Microsoft Mobile Devices Pakistan. We launched various devices in the Lumia portfolio and brought the remarkable range to more and more price points. We witnessed a euphoric end to the year with the launch of Lumia 535 Dual SIM, which was highly welcomed by the local market.
In the year 2015, we hope to continue the same winning streak by exciting people with more innovative experiences.