BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) India Downsizing Not “Deliberate”

BlackBerry Ottawa

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) was on a global transformation drive because of which it downsized its employee base in India, according to a top official of the company. The executive clarified that trimming of staff in India was not a deliberate attempt.

India an important market for India

 BlackBerry’s Chief Legal Officer, Steven E Zipperstein told Economic Times, “We have around 28 employees here. There’s been no deliberate decision to downsize in India. We have been going through a transformation, thus the employee base has changed all over the world — in the US, Latin America, East Asia. And India is no different.” Zipperstein said India is among the most important markets for them, and the Canadian firm has plans of making India its largest global R&D hub.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) CEO John Chen recently designated each of the seven C-level executives the responsibility of looking after its most important markets. Zipperstein is one such C-level executive, and has been entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing Indian operations after most of the senior management here exited.

Zipperstein is trying to understand the needs of the Indian customers for which he is meeting BlackBerry customers and partners in India. He said the firm is communicating with the Indian users, government and partners to let them know that the company is there to stay. He added that India is an important market for the Canadian firm with a focus on financial health, broadening of the software portfolio and adding more ways to serve its customers.

More software executives now

BlackBerry has shifted its focus to software and solutions for enterprises, and is making sincere efforts to reduce its dependence on the hardware and smartphone business. The number of software executives working with BlackBerry India has risen by large. Zipperstein told that the firm has shrunk in size today, but the employees with a focus on software are more in number.

Recently, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) acquired Movirtu after which a team of 50 engineers was added to its Noida office, in India. It also partnered with ValueLabs through which it got 100-odd engineers to work on the company’s products and services. Zipperstein said the company has more software engineers at its Indian offices than last year.

Very soon BlackBerry will assign a new Managing Director for India. Presently, the country’s operations are being taken care of by Matthew Tonkin, vice-president, carrier sales and distribution, APAC.