Companies & Sectors
Nokia cuts 300 jobs; outsources IT function to TCS, HCL Tech

Nokia, which in June 2012 had had announced slashing of up to 10,000 jobs globally by the end of 2013, said these are the last anticipated reductions as part of its focused strategy announcement


New Delhi/Helsinki: Nokia on Thursday said it will outsource the IT function to Indian technology firms TCS and HCL Technologies, a move that will see the Finnish handset maker cutting up to 300 jobs, reports PTI.


Nokia plans to transfer certain activities and up to 820 employees to HCL Tech and Tata Consultancy Services as part of the process, it said in a statement. The financial details were, however, not disclosed.


“Nokia has outlined a range of planned changes to streamline its IT organisation. Nokia believes these changes will increase operational efficiency and reduce operating costs, creating an IT organisation appropriate for Nokia’s current size and scope,” the statement said.


Nokia, which has a strong presence in India including a manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, said it plans to reduce its “global IT organisation by up to 300 employees... These are the last anticipated reductions as part of Nokia's focused strategy announcement of June 2012”.


The company had announced slashing of up to 10,000 jobs globally by the end of 2013 as part of the restructuring process.


The majority of the employees affected by Thursday’s announcement are based in Finland.


“Nokia will offer employees affected by these planned reductions both financial support and a comprehensive bridge support program,” the company said.


Nokia is beginning the process of engaging with employee representatives on these plans in accordance with country- specific legal requirements, it added.


The handset maker has been witnessing tough competition from rivals Samsung and Apple in the smartphone category. It lost its leadership position to Samsung but has been aggressively launching new products based on Microsoft’s Windows platform along with other operating systems like Belle.


As part of the restructuring process, Nokia announced the closure of its facilities in Ulm (Germany) and Burnaby (Canada) last year. It also sold its luxury brand Vertu to a private equity firm, EQT.


Besides, it sold its head office building in Espoo to real estate investment firm Exilion for 170 million euros (over Rs1,218 crore).


The company ended the third quarter with gross cash of 8.8 billion euros, and a net cash position of 3.6 billion euros. Nokia Group’s net sales in Q3 2012 stood at 7.2 billion euros, down from 7.5 billion euros in Q2 2012.


Meanwhile, in a separate statement, HCL Tech said its new agreement with Nokia includes functions like data centre, network management, end-user computing services and cross- functional service management.


HCL Tech has been delivering global service desk and desktop management outsourcing services for Nokia since 2009.


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US court sentences 26/11 mastermind to 14 years of imprisonment

“It seems to me that people who are determined to carry out terrorist activity really do not care about what is going to happen to them. As long as Rana is in custody he is personally deterred from any personal such activity,” the judge said while delivering the sentence

Chicago: Tahawwur Rana, an accomplice of 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorist David Headley, was on Thursday sentenced to 14 years in jail followed by five years of supervised release for providing material support to Pakistan-based LeT and for backing a ‘dastardly’ plot to attack a Danish newspaper, reports PTI.


The US District Judge Harry D Leinenweber gave his order after hearing from both the government attorney and those of 52-year-old Rana, during which the two argued on the length of imprisonment.


The last minute arguments lasted for more than an hour and half before the judge noted, “This certainly was a dastardly plot”.


The defence had sought a lighter sentence of about nine years citing the Pakistani-Canadian’s poor health while the prosecution wanted a 30-year jail term.


“Based upon presiding over the trial and reading over the material that has been provided to me, we have on one hand a very intelligent person capable and willing to provide assistance to many, many people.


“What is difficult to understand how that kind of person is sucked into a ghastly plot that was proposed to go into the private office of a newspaper,” the judge said.


He added: “It seems to me that people who are determined to carry out terrorist activity really do not care about what is going to happen to them. As long as Rana is in custody he is personally deterred from any personal such activity.


“Providing a long sentence would make sure that Rana does not get involved in any kind of terrorist activity in the future”.


Reacting to the verdict, the prosecution said they were ‘pleased’.


Rana was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to a plot from October 2008 to October 2009 to commit murder in Denmark, including a horrific plan to behead employees of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, and throw their heads on to the street in Copenhagen, as well as providing material support, from late 2005 to October 2009, to LeT, US Attorney's Office, Chicago said.


“This serious prison sentence should go a long way towards convincing would-be terrorists that they can’t hide behind the scenes, lend support to the violent aims of terrorist organisations, and escape detection and punishment,” said Gary S Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.


Earlier the judge said that the whole idea that Headley was sent to Copenhagen to place an ad in a newspaper when one can do it simply over computer from here, shows that “the crime is serious” and noted Rana assisted Headley in going to Denmark for such a plot.


The Assistant US Attorney government attorney Daniel Collins said that “terrorism enhancement” be taken into consideration for sentencing and pleaded for “severe sentence” for Rana.


Peter Blegan, Rana’s attorney, argued that it is not applicable and claimed that the argument made by the government attorney is factually inaccurate.


“The court finds that terrorism enhancement does not apply under the current terrorism act,” judge Leinenweber said.


“This seems clear to me that the planned attack was on a private company on a private property... we had a plot to invade a private newspaper and a private property... This certainly was a dastardly plot,” he noted.


Rana, who use to run a visa service agency that helped Headley, was brought to the court in an orange jump suit several minutes after scheduled sentencing hearing at 10am local Chicago time.


Gray haired Rana appeared calm, but weak. His wife could not be present as she was denied entry into the US from Canada by immigration authorities, Blegan said.


One of his sons was also not present as he was in college.


However, a number of his other family members were present during the sentencing hearing, which was jam-packed with a battery of reporters representing both the Indian and US media.


Judge Leinenweber said he has read and reviewed the positions of both the government and those of the Rana attorney.


He said he has also received letters of recommendations in favour of Rana from his family, friends and other members of the society.


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