Nokia’s New Era – Challenges and Chances
Maarit Laurento, Finland
Nokia[i], Finland’s technology flagship, the world’s market leader in mobile phones is facing a challenging situation. Factories are closed down, the workers laid off and the stock has lost up to 71% of its value in a year (2009). Time has changed since the last autumn stock crash. Analysts are surprised, conventional methods to examine the company have been challenged. It is time to analyze the situation in a radically new way, beyond the mainstream methods – by the means of business astrology (astrological references are presented in the endnotes).
Nokia has been in a completely new time phase since 2005. For example, Nokia’s leadership changed in 2005 – 2006, when the company’s CEO Mr. Jorma Ollila made his move and Mr. Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo CEO began his era in summer 2006 (nomination was in 2005). Year 2005 started a new fifteen-year development period; it is again time to create a new genre. Nokia’s brand at the moment is associated strongly with the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s, the beginning of the mobile phone market. However, it is now time to create something totally new. In 2009 – 2010 it is also time to renew the themes started in 2005. Would it be time to change management level entirely? Will Nokia change the CEO to a young, new director outside the company? Or is there a chance to move on with entirely new kinds of concepts? What kind of innovative methods and fresh approaches do they have behind the scenes? Autumn 2008 stock market turbulence has also set new demands for growth and development.
The Time Function
Where to look for hints of Nokia’s present potentials at this moment? Business astrology analyzes and focuses on time. To understand the present we need to make vertical time interventions to the past. From the perspective of business astrology time is understood both as qualitative and quantitative, in distinction from only quantitative ideas i.e. clocks and calendars. In this article we will make time trips concerning Nokia.
We analyze time e.g. by the Business Life Span Method (BLS) [ii], company based business cycles, thirty years each. Nokia’s current and the most recent Business Life Span cycles are:
1976 – 1991 – 2005
2005 – 2020 – 2035
It is worthwhile to return to the start of the previous BLS in the mid/late 1970s, in order to find ideas also to the present BLS, which has just begun in 2005. What did Nokia do rough thirty years ago? What kind of reforms boosted Nokia to the next phase? What are the remarkable solutions made at that time? The era, social situation, and people are obviously not the same now, but we are interested in recalling the attitudes from various eras and how those time-attitudes could be applied even now. How did the new genre begin back then? What kind of the choices Nokia made in the mid/late 1970s?
Nokia 1976 – 2005
Mr. Juhana Aunesluoma (2001) headlines his article in Mr. Martti Häikiö’s Nokia trilogy as following: “The adjustment begins – Rubber Industry 1977 – 1982.” Kari Kairamo took hold of Nokia in 1977 and piloted Nokia to the new as an innovative and fearless leader. Aunesluoma writes: “Only the electronics was able to grow. Other areas dependent on traditional construction and capital investments were still in the hands of the recession. […] At the same time a question was caused to which extent the rubber industry would be able to maintain the viability of an increasingly global competition. At first Kairamo seems to have been pessimistic about the future of Nokia rubber industry. Unless there soon will be light at the end of the tunnel the whole area could have been in need of rehabilitation.”
The strong growth of Nokia’s electronics in the 1970s acted as the booster for the rise of mobile phones in the 1990s. Kairamo asked for strong support from the state to his sector, which he described as “oligarchy of multi-national companies where mercy is not given nor known”. In the background of the comment was Nokia’s own interest in the computer field. In the late 1970s Nokia’s PC sector, however, was still in its infancy, and the state’s role proposed a challenge. The state was needed but as the same time its expansion to the industry of electronics was feared. The state had a strong hold on Soviet trade, and for the success Soviet trade was needed. Therefore, a liaison with the government was necessary although not unproblematic. Anyway, the starting point for the electronics segment was in 1976 – 1977, when Kairamo strongly invested in it.
The development of digital telephone center DX200 took off early years in Kairamo era. Centers began to be introduced since the early 1980s. According to Keijo Olkkola, the DX200-project leader, the project was “the largest product development input into one product in Nokia and probably in Finland.” Olkkola says the intention was to do something different from the others: “The microprocessor was central and the most significant choice.”
“The DX200 is a digital telephone switching exchange developed by Nokia. The DX-200 was the first microprocessor controlled telephone exchange and the first fully digital exchange to be taken into service in Europe. Development of the system started at Taleva, the Finnish state owned telecom equipment producer in the early 1970s, under the leadership of Keijo Olkkola. The first order was received in 1973 for a 100 subscriber local exchange for the small and remote island community of Houtskär, to be delivered in 1979. After the first installation in 1982, the DX-200 captured a 50% share of the Finnish fixed line exchange market. The exchange’s modular design and development of microprocessors technology enabled a gradual increase in the system’s capacity. By 1987 the installation base had grown to 400,000 subscriber lines” (Wikipedia).
Nokia combined radio phone operations with Salora Ltd in February 1979, Mobira Ltd. started in early July. This opened up new opportunities for western markets. Mobira was a start, led by Nokia’s new organization and strategy from the early 1980s. Recession eased off in 1979 and better results created investment pressures which were directed to internationalization and education. At that time challenges for expansion offered a cautious monetary policy of the Bank of Finland which made investments difficult.
Growth was made with following key statements:
- New business ideas
- International growth
- Investments in high technology
- Flexibility and fast reactivity
Preconditions For Mobile Phone Business
Nokia has a prosperous history for its success.[iii] Martti Häikiö sums up the cornerstones of Nokia’s development in the electronics industry
- Defensive battle towards the state (the electronics business)
- LM Ericsson enlargement prevention; Telenokia (Nokia Telecommunications) was founded as a result of cooperation with Taleva
- New product development
- Soviet Trade
Persistence in the idea of mobile phones was worthwhile, even though it wasn’t a gold mine in the beginning. March 1980 turned out to be the starting point for mobile phones when the technology became available in two small municipalities in Finland. DX200 beat fast analog competitor, and the first trades were made.
The real catalyst, however, was GSM, which was the starting shot in the middle of Nokia crisis in 1991. The first GSM call, played the HTF’s (Helsinki Telephone Association), the then CEO Kurt Nordman on 27 March 1991. Radiolinja launched the world’s first GSM network on 1 July 1991, at noon. The triumphed trip of Finnish GSM technology around the world started.
Is Nokia In The Same Kind Of A Situation As In The Late 1970’s?
What is the situation at Nokia now? Is Nokia in the same situation as in the late 1970’s, in the beginning of Kairamo era? What areas should be considered completely anew during 2009?[iv]
To find new ideas to today we need to focus on the beginning of Kairamo era and find key ideas from the attitudes from that time when it was a time of brand new inventions, new organization models etc. What is the “new” now? What kind of innovations are possible now, when so much has been invented already? Is there room for brand new ideas and totally new business areas? What kind of attitudes are needed now to create a new genre of ideas?
For example, the following four areas are potential platforms for reform:
New Corporate Lead Executives
Kari Kairamo was relatively new in Nokia when he was nominated as the Managing Director in 1977. He had come to Nokia ten years earlier. Kari Kairamo was considered as a visionary leader, who could be high-handed, too. He enjoyed parties, and meetings often took the whole night (totally opposite to Jorma Ollila in this). Kairamo was interested in globalization and new ideas. He coached everybody to their best and beyond. Kairamo is described also as impatient and hard-working, 25-hour working days were normal. He demanded the same from his workers. Yet he was well regarded as superior. He had good relationships with the subordinates as with the rest of society. Kairamo was not afraid to express their own ideas; sometimes he did it even too directly.
Wikipedia writes: “During Kairamo era Nokia grew and changed fast. He created an entirely new organization culture which now is the basis of Nokia. Kairamo was also active outside of Nokia, his social relations were perfect. He had good relations with the Soviet Union, however, he as well understood that Nokia must extend to the West. Kairamo’s mission was to build Nokia fast into an internationally large multi-industry company, and he led several courageous acquisitions for the company. The late 1980s was a very special period of time both for the Nokia Corporation and for Finland. The place Finland occupied on the map of Europe was about to change, and cold war and protectionism in the Finnish trade politics was about to break down. Kairamo saw the importance of Nokia, the biggest company in Finland, as a major agent in getting Finland closer to Western Europe, although at the same time he considered the Soviet Union to be an important trade partner and managed to retain close relations with major Soviet politicians and business leaders.”
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo has done his career mainly at Nokia. Wikipedia writes: “Kallasvuo joined Nokia in 1980 as Corporate Counsel, and has held roles of increasing responsibility since that time. In 1987 he was appointed Assistant Vice President, Legal Department, and in 1988 he was named Assistant Vice President, Finance. In 1990 he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Finance. Since 1990 Kallasvuo has been a member of the Group Executive Board of Nokia. In 1992, Kallasvuo was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In 1997-1998 he served as Corporate Executive Vice President, Nokia United States, being responsible for all Nokia’s business operations in the US. He returned to the position of Chief Financial Officer at the beginning of 1999, the position he had held prior to moving to the United States. From 2004-2005 Kallasvuo was Executive Vice President and General Manager of Mobile Phones. On October 1, 2005 he was named President and COO before his appointment to the current position, Chief Executive Officer on June 1, 2006. Prior to joining Nokia, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo held a variety of positions with the Union Bank of Finland.”
Kallasvuo’s era should be compared to Kairamo’s era instead of Ollila’s era if we are interested in time periods described by Business Life Spans. Kairamo created a new corporate and foundation to mobile phone business, a new genre and generation. Now the same time phase is faced, although of course the time and social context are different. World is global in a very different way from Kairamo’s era, challenges and opportunities are different than then, but here we are interested in attitudes towards time where analogy could be found. So what is the present “mobile phone”? What is a completely new product, a pioneering idea, a fresh concept that could “save us from the recession and shed light on tunnel” right now? Is it going to be found from Nokia or from somewhere else?
Nokia is in its starting point towards the future (current BLS 2005 >). Self-evidently it has a long history (since 1865) but from BLS perspective in this stage Nokia is in the beginning, in a brand new situation. The idea for 2005 – 2020 is to develop new concepts and ideas for the future, but are these ideas ready for publishing or are they yet in process, not yet the end products at all?
Furthermore, is it the present CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo who also is the new CEO at Nokia? If so, does he find this year 2009 a whole new way to lead the company, quite different from what he created with Ollila? If not, who is the new Nokia leader for a new era, who is the perfect man or woman to guide the company (and all of us) towards an entirely new future? Can we find him/her inside Nokia, or will he/she come from outside the company? Is he/she a relatively young and hungry for success? Familiar methods seem not to appear valid now, and if one wants to be in the market first, a bold risk-taking and courage to invest in weak signals are needed.
In spring 2005 much talked Lex Nokia begun a discussion about the location of the headquarters. The question “will Nokia leave Finland?” has emerged again in spring 2009 when Lex Nokia made headlines. It is a good question from BLS perspective, too, since the new start for a new BLS generation has been just a couple of years ago, in 2005. Is Nokia really leaving? Will the new start change the company’s location, too? What is the role of Finland in New Nokia? Is there any?
The innovations from the last BLS cycle became worldwide and created the global reputation of Nokia since the 1990’s. Nokia BLS turning point to success and harvest phase was in 1991 when radical decisions and changes took place. Now the present BLS goal is to create and build up a brand new genre in the next ten or so years (- 2020), and hence research and development are the key issues here and now. What kind of weak signals are, therefore, in the R&D going on now (Nokia just cut this area in March 2009…)? Compare the idea for example to the legendary DX200. There were only few who believed in the project at the time being but it was crucial to the success Nokia gained in the 1990’s. What similar kind of projects are there now behind the scenes?
So, what are the new innovations at Nokia today? Nokia will e.g. examine the markets of mini portables which already faced some criticism. Is it new? Mini Portable has already been presented by its competitors. “‘Internet in every pocket’ said Jorma Ollila already a decade ago, and it was also Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo’s message,” writes Jukka Lukkari in late 2008. Are these kinds of ideas sufficient or does Nokia need entirely new kind of concepts?
The goal of Nokia Ovi Store is to have 300 million users by 2012, although the service does not yet have received the desired feedback and there is a lot of competition in the field: Apple’s iPhone applications have proven to be a great success and make a big challenge, and Microsoft will also open its own application store. In March 2009 we read that Nokia’s 3G phone has encountered problems: just launched 5800 XpressMusic phone was withdrawn from sale in the USA because the 3G didn’t work. Skype for mobile in Nokia N97 could be a real new opening. The new N97 phone is designed specifically for the Internet and social networks users. And in April new flops enter: “Nokia’s all-inclusive Comes With Music mobile service has been much slower to attract UK consumers than expected, according to an industry consultancy” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8012874.stm). Nevertheless, the direction is right, young people are the perfect segment during this first part of BLS cycle (2005 – 2020).
What general issues were analogical in the beginning of the last BLS cycle and now? In the early 1980’s a new kind of monetary policy was landing In Finland. Nokia was among the first ones to welcome it. Political culture changed in Finland in the 1980’s and a new generation of leaders stepped forward. Britain began to move from state-owned enterprises for privatization, and Thatcher’s liberal economic policies opened new kinds of opportunities. Do we now face new liberalism, too, and how will the global monetary culture affect business worldwide? Did autumn 2008 give us some taste of it? Generally speaking we are in a declining phase of roughly two hundred years economical cycle. New one is about to start in the 2020’s[v]. The transition phase has started in the early 1980’s. Will Nokia be the leader or the successor? Now is the time to create the wildest ideas to the brand new future. What must be done before the brand new ideas are able to move forward and conquer the world by 2020? From time perspective the first signs of this could be anticipated from Nokia already in 2010 – 2012. How will they respond to the challenge? Earlier, Nokia has benefited from crises; will it be victorious even now?[vi]
After autumn 2008 the world is no longer the same as before. Time has changed and hence the deeds of action. The winner is the one who first understands the new concept of time. By business astrology time can also be understood as wider spans. Now is time to understand in a new way the themes that were relevant in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Generally speaking, analogy to late 1960’s and early 1970’s lies also in the next few years: 2008 – 2015. Some forty years before young people and students started the social change. The hippies piloted the new age: let’s make love not war. The second wave of feminism gave rise to the new Equality Movement and the awareness of environmental issues rose: the International Biological Program (IBP 1960 final) is a multilateral climate change research which is still relevant. Technological breakthroughs such as space travel have opened up new worlds. Nokia needs to find the new way fairly soon. [vii]
Bruun, S. & Wallén, M. 1999. Nokian valtatie. (The Nokia Highway) Tammi.
Häikiö, M. 2001. Nokia Oyj:n historia 1-3. (The History of Nokia 1-3.) Edita
Lemola, T. & Lovio, R. (eds.) 1996. Miksi Nokia, Finland. (Why Nokia, Finland) WSOY.
Mäkinen, M. 1995. Nokia Saga. Kertomus yrityksestä ja ihmisistä, jotka muuttivat sen. (Nokia Saga. A Story of the Company and the People who Changed It). Gummerus.
The bulletins of Nokia.
[i] Nokia is founded on the 2nd of May in 1865 in Tampere (the date is corrected from the dates presented earlier). The reader should notice that during the 19th century Finland was under the Russian regime and the earlier applied Gregorian calendar was accompanied by the old Julian calendar used in Russia until 1917. Here we use the New Style (Georgian Calendar Style) since the New Style was still mostly used in Finland although the Old Style is used especially in the official dates (and furthermore, the new style date is a weekday, Tuesday, compared to the old style date, Sunday). Nokia of course has several charts since there have been many changes in the business since 1865. In this article the foundation chart from May 1865 is the main one used. The time is unknown.
On the foundation chart of Nokia the Sun (the core idea of the company) is located in Taurus with Venus (the ruler of the Sun), Mercury (communication) and Pluto. Taurus describes well the natural raw material that was used in the mills – the timber. (Originally, in the 19th century, Nokia started with pulp industry.) Venus emphasizes the use of materials that have been obtained from the nature and earth, but Pluto compels Venus to refine, to modify, and to produce something new from the basic natural materials. In the case of Nokia it was a question of the chemical pulp. Chemicals are needed in order to produce cellulose. Pluto (=chemicals) in conjunction with Venus, the ruler of the Sun in this chart, refers to that., not to mention the square with the Moon In Leo. Pluto in its fall in Taurus also refers to the fact that Nokia has had to struggle in order to be competitive on the market.
Taurus describes also well the continuity and the traditional values of the bourgeoisie. The region of Tampere was very wealthy at that time. Fredrik Idestam came from a large family, which owned, among other properties, a big manor house in the area. Idestam’s brother-in-law, Adolf Törngren owned the big cotton mills of Tampella; one of the biggest employers in Finland at that time. The first Nokia mill was built on the site of Tampella.
Nokia got into a crisis immediately after the company had been established. There would not be a single line in the history books about Nokia, had not Idestam acted resourcefully. Mercury and Venus are both retrograde in the establishing chart of Nokia which gave a reason to anticipate rearrangements of some kind. Furthermore, Pluto crossed Venus and Mercury as a transit a couple of years after the establishment. Both the traditions and the whole business was threatened. The factories of Tampella went bankrupt. Idestam nearly lost the right to use the energy provided by the falls, and so the whole factory was in danger. But Idestam’s friend Leo Mechelin saved him. The springboard for Finnish industry and for Finland’s independence (1917) had been created. Perhaps the Finnish perseverance can be seen in surviving Pluto’s transits.
The Pluto theme was activated again in the early 1930’s on the chart of Nokia, when Pluto crossed Mars. At that time the possibility of the merger was discussed. In the late 1980’s there was an opposition of Pluto to the Sun. Nokia was at that time close to a destruction and bankruptcy but survived and rose to a rocket-like success. The Pluto theme is strong already in the basic chart of Nokia (conjunction with the ruler of the Sun, Venus). Indeed one might think that it is a pursuit of Nokia to grow through crises, in order to achieve victory. One could even say that Nokia benefits from the crises, because it probably operates at its sharpest at those times, and makes a strong opponent to its competitors.
Nokia made Finnish history immediately after having been established, by being the country’s first cellulose factory. The beginning of the conglomerate has also been praised as innovative, and new inventions have been utilized pioneer-like in the operation of the company. The Sun is in semi-square aspect to Uranus (=innovativeness, inventions) and sesquiquadrate to Jupiter (=success) which again is opposing Uranus. The Sun is also in a productive and active aspect (sextile) to Mars (=energy, initiative pioneering), albeit in its fall in Cancer. It emphasizes the domesticity and the basic Finnish character of Nokia.
[ii] Business Life Span (BLS) Method is a progressive Moon Phase Technique applied by Equinox Consulting. BLS presents the Progressed Moon Phase Cycle that is approximately thirty years each. Nokia obviously has several BLS cycles in its history since it has been founded already in 1865. Here the two latest ones are presented. The form of BLS is A – B – C where A – B is the period of resources gathering, the middle point B the approximate time when the New Genre from A – B should be created and B – C is the harvest time when the resources gathered A – B are being also in test. BLS can also be divided into four quartals where A – B is again divided into two and same is done with B – C. Here the simpler model is applied.
[iii] Nokia did not throw itself to manufacturing mobile phones at the end of the 1960’s. There were other plans at that time. In fact, the breakthrough of the whole electronics field in relation to the more traditional industry required toughness and purposefulness. Certainly Pluto in the establishing chart requires this in all times. Nokia manufactured rubber boots for daily use, and cables for industrial use. The production field was indeed very different from the mobile phones, which require modern electronics.
At that time the electronics unit was very small from the point of view of the whole group (in 1967 the staff consisted of 460 people only!). However, it got a persistent godfather fighting on its side, CEO Björn Westerlund. After he retired in 1977, the new CEO Kari Kairamo led the unit in an innovative and good-minded way. Nokia established a company called Mobira with another electronics enterprise called Salora. Mobira was to develop car phones, but the pet of Kairamo were the computers and the televisions. It is told that Kairamo said in the early 80’s: “Car phones? They will never make a big success! Nokia has to invest in the televisions”. This proved to be a mistake which led Nokia to the brink of destruction.
The legendary career of Kairamo, during which he pushed forward his innovations and visions in an outspoken, intensive and single-minded way, provided a new basis for Nokia, but ended in the suicide of Kairamo at the end of the year 1988 (transiting Pluto opposing the Sun).
Mobile phones however survived thanks to the digital DX 200 centre. The GSM net of Nokia is based on developing of this centre. The development work had started at the 1970’s. Its success depended only on good luck and on people who backed up the project with great perseverance. At that time the analogical system was popular, and the digital project was seen mainly as a burden. However the development work went on, and the fruits of this project served as bedrock of the success of Nokia’s GSM phone.
Of course the pet of Kairamo, the television, also fits well with the “communication company”, but it did not offer as good opportunities for expansion as the mobile phone did on the market. The Japanese, for example, were conquering the TV-market more and more, so there simply was no place for a new “TV giant”. The mobile was a new, innovative product, which was good for every hand. The company went on developing televisions until the beginning of 90’s but had already chosen a new direction towards other kind of electronics.
The beginning of the 1970’s was a Saturn period on the group chart of Nokia. Finland was facing serious times when Soviet Union proposed common military manoeuvres, which in practice could have formed a threat to our independence. The period is often referred to as “the years of challenges” in Finland. Nokia survived, however, the difficult period. Holding on to the mobiles was worthwhile, even if it wasn’t a gold mine immediately in the beginning. It was not until the last day of March in 1980 when the mobiles were launched, when all the technique needed was available in two small Finnish towns. DX 200 beated quickly its analogical rivals and the first deals were made. Kari Kairamo was very influential in making the transactions.
[iv] From the late 2008 Nokia has astrologically had a similar situation as in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when the whole system was reconstructed. Then, transiting Pluto was opposing the Sun and the Taurus planets, now, transiting Pluto is squaring the progressed Sun (in early Libra) which will last the whole year 2009.
Furthermore, with the new BLS cycle (from 2005) and progressed Moon in Scorpio heading towards opposition to natal Pluto, one can suggest a change e.g. in the structure of the company (e.g. the corporate lead executives), the structure of the personnel and also the change in the direction of the company. It is time to produce a totally new genre. Nokia would, in the matter of fact, again benefit from the profound restructuring as it has many times before.
[v] In case of interest have a look at the article “Agenda 2008 – 2020” where we argue the issue more deeply: http://www.equinoxconsulting.fi/english/articles/agenda.pdf
[vi] Nokia first started to flourish during the so called “Crazy Casino Years” of the Finnish economy in the end of the 1980’s. It has done so until this day, with an exception of the early 1990’s when Nokia was on the brink of destruction. The background and the basis for this growth was, however, in a period more than ten years earlier, when Kari Kairamo was elected as the CEO in 1977. He had global visions and ideas of great innovation, which neither Finland nor the rest of the world was ready to adopt or appreciate in the beginning of 1980’s. Kairamo was almost like Don Quijote, fighting against wind mills. But it was hard to resist him and he managed to push through many of his ideas.
On the turn of the decade from 1970’s to the 1980’s, the basic chart of Nokia was receiving a yod from Neptune and Pluto, and on the other hand, periods of restructuring of Uranus (transiting Uranus in Scorpio opposing the Taurus planets), in a way that was also strongly opposed in Nokia. The forerunner of GSM, the DX 200 center, was still alive, thanks to the perseverance of Keijo Olkkola, who had invented it. At the same time Kari Kairamo was developing his global ideas, the integration of Europe, and the Nokia University which was to provide for the need for highly skilled expert engineers. One might say that Nokia needed his kind of rebels who were not happy with the traditional and habitual modes of action, but broke new and original ways for Nokia’s functioning. In the foundation chart there is a conjunction of Pluto to the Sun and Venus, the ruler of the Sun, and also to Mercury (=visions, ideas), square the Moon. Furthermore, the Sun and Mercury are in sequiquadrate with Uranus. It requires strength, power and visions from the directors.
In addition there was also an exterior threat around at that time. An investor called Pentti Kouri tried to take over Nokia in the early 80’s, to split it and to sell it to foreign investors. He did not succeed in his manoeuvre (as a minor remark, Kairamo favoured Kouri in spite of this. The latter suggested Jorma Ollila to the post of financing director. Jorma Ollila was the CEO of Nokia in the years of its great success 1992 – 2006). Kouri stayed at Nokia until the turn of next decade, 1980-90, when he left the company and moved abroad. For Nokia his period was a crisis, anyway.
Transiting Pluto was opposing the planets in Taurus and squaring the Moon during the late 1980’s. This forced Nokia to restructure itself and to be prepared for even unexpected opponents. This can be seen as a start towards a bigger change and restructuring. The landmark for this change was a very unfortunate incident. The CEO Kari Kairamo committed a suicide at 11th of December 1988, when Pluto was opposing the Sun (=director).
The “crazy years” of 1987-1988, when Jupiter (=success, expansion) was successively in Aries and in Taurus, in other words close to the Nokia Sun, brought many new clients for Nokia – and furthermore also started a long Pluto rebirth process in Nokia. Among other things the period is described like this: “Nokia swallowed everything that came on its way”. It was a time of great economic growth, a culmination point. The collapse of the stock market was approaching in the big world. Nokia utilised even the Black Monday of October, 19, 1987 by offering a good opportunity for the investors. Nokia issued a bond, which helped it to collect money from the most important capital markets of the world. Nokia was successful, and risks were taken. The opposition of Pluto, along with Jupiter crossing, can also be interpreted as daring gambling and risk taking. But everything has its price. The world economy was in crisis. There was an economic depression reigning, and even Nokia did not come off without problems.
Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and many investors of Nokia sold their shares because they did not expect Finland to survive the blow economically. A buyer was searched for Nokia; LM Ericsson was given a historical opportunity to buy Nokia but it did not use it (because the offer included all of Nokia, even the TV production, which Ericsson wasn’t interested in). Very probably they have regretted this decision, because buying Nokia would have been the most profitable bargain of all times, for the Swedes.
Nokia was in a general crisis in 1991. A bankruptcy was anticipated, and the CEO Simo Vuorilehto, undertook a harsh and radical restructuring, which was seen as inevitable for the restoration of Nokia. Suddenly and surprisingly a new CEO was appointed. He was called Jorma Ollila, and he was not so well known in public even he had been the director of Nokia Mobile Phones. With this move a new rise of Nokia started, and the seed for future success was sown. Also, from the Business Life Span perspective Nokia was in its culmination point at 1991 and hence that time was very important. Next year, 1992, was the last improfitable one in Nokia’s history (Pluto opposed Nokia’s Venus the last time; Mars was crossing back and forth on the Mars). The TV production was sold to a company from Hong Kong, and there was only one production unit left because its multimedia components were necessary for the future activity of the company.
Astrologically this restructuring and transition to a new line of production is a great example of a Pluto process, a successful shedding of the skin. On the chart Pluto in tight contact with the Taurus planets refers to the fact that Nokia benefits from “the reincarnation” – one could indeed see the re-organization of Nokia in 1990’s as a process like that. Nokia did not bend in the pressure of the crises but chose a tough but beneficial mode of action, which raised it to a new success. In 1993 Nokia had finally cleared the crises.
[vii] Equinox Time Market Watch presents several viewpoints on the issue in question http://www.equinoxconsulting.fi/english/marketwatch.html