Fire breaks out at Nokia's paint unit in Chennai

If Nokia’s ship isn’t sinking, it’s burning.

A fire has broken out at one of the company’s factories in Chennai.

The major conflagration hit one of Nokia’s paint units, which is situated in Sriperumpudur, about 40 kms from the city and this morning fire officials said that they were “trying to douse it”. They also said that there were no reports of any casualties.

We contacted Nokia’s offices in Finland who told us they had no information on the blaze at the moment. Although its Indian counterparts were able to confirm the fire, they rather cryptically told us the “situation was under control”..

The paint unit is situated in the company’s Indian site, which takes up a huge 210.87 acres.  Currently the factory exports to more than 50 countries in South East Asia, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

And although Nokia has a smattering of paint units in the Phillipines and China, this one seems to be the largest. We assume that the fire has stopped or damaged machinery and if the fire proves critical then it may take a while to get things back up and running.

Of course Nokia could send its handsets across the waters to be nicely finished off but this will mean delays and more costs for the company especially in the regions the Chennai plant covers. It could also impact on the production line in the other factories taking on this work meaning a global backlog.
And in case that wasn’t enough to get the head honchos panicking, it could mean that Nokia gets a little visit from health and safety officials.  However, if Nokia is telling the truth, it shouldn’t be worried. When it comes to its Chennai facility, the company claims that it “lays special emphasis on the well being of its employees”.