Yes, there is a push towards software & services: BlackBerry MD Sunil Lalvani

Written by Rhik Kundu | Updated: Jun 4 2014, 20:27pm hrs
Sunil LalvaniSunil Lalvani informed that QNX, an embedded software which runs as a real-time operating system, is coming to India soon.
BlackBerry, the Canadian telecommunication and wireless equipment company, best known as the developer of marquee email-enabled-phones with qwerty keypads, has long been considered a falling giant. Recently, the company posted a loss of $ 5.9 billion for FY14 on the back of $6.8-billion revenue. However, the companys India managing director, Sunil Lalvani, tells FEs Rhik Kundu that with core focus back on enterprise services, the tech major hopes for a turnaround soon.

Your core focus has changed to enterprise services. How do you see the journey ahead pan out

BlackBerry has four verticals hardware (handsets), software and enterprise services, messaging services (BBM), QNX (a commercial real-time operating system). Till about two-three years ago, 60% of our revenue came from our hardware or handset business while the rest from software and enterprise businesses. In the last fiscal, 63% of our revenues came from services and software while 37% came from hardware.

So, yes there is a push towards software and enterprise businesses. But, we are also betting high on BBM services and QNX, especially the latter, which is expected to be our major revenue driver in future.

Can you throw more light on QNX

QNX is an embedded software which runs as a real-time operating system. We acquired it in 2010 and used it for various machine-to-machine applications. Today, QNX, which can run on stringent and harsh conditions, is deployed in machine-critical industries like NASA space missions, nuclear power plants, North American railroad system, automobile companies, and medical equipment manufacturers. The BlackBerry 10 operating system is built on the QNX platform.

Are you bringing it to India

Yes, we are in talks with a local company who is interested in QNX. Unfortunately, since the final approval is awaited, I cant give you further details except for the fact that the interested party belongs to the heavy industry segment.

BlackBerry signed a five-year partnership with Foxconn to manufacture its phones. Whats the logic behind this

Foxconn brings in efficiency in manufacturing and logistics, thus bringing down the overall costs. Due to its bigger scale of operations, the Taiwanese company is also able to deliver a quicker turnaround though the patents and R&D would still belong to BlackBerry. This also helps us focus on our core business software, and enterprise services, while Foxconn, who are experts in manufacturing and supply chain, bring about efficiency in the process and further brings down the overall costs of the handsets.

When is the first phone under the partnership due in India

As of now, we have planned for two phones Z3 and BlackBerry Classic from the partnership. While Z3 is out in Indonesia at a pricing point much cheaper than the Z30 or Q10, which were priced above $200, we expect the phone to be released in India in the coming months. The price of the phone will definitely be less than our previous releases, which also ran on BlackBerry 10 operating system.