If anyone asks you what is Nokia you will instantly reply Nokia, the Finnish company is now a leading mobile phone manufacturer that has its headquarters in Finland. How many of you know if this is a correct reply? There is some interesting history behind Nokia.
The modern Nokia's predecessor is Nokia Company, the Finnish Rubber Works Ltd and the Finnish Cable Works Ltd respectively. The history of Nokia dates way back to 1865 when Fredrik Idestam, a mining engineer had established a ground-wood pulp mill in Tampere, a town in the south west of Finland. This mill started to manufacture paper in the banks of Tammerkoski.
He built a second mill in Nokia, a town situated about 15 kms west of Tampere in 1868. This mill was located at the banks of the river named Nokianvirta which has huge sources of hydropower production. Idestam with the partnership of Leo Mechelin, his close friend transformed the company to a share firm and then renamed it to Nokia Company, the name that exists till date.
Michelin wished to expand the business in the electricity sector and this idea was opposed by Idestem. However, after Idestem retired from the management of the firm in 1896, Michelin became the chairman of the company and started working on his vision. In 1902, electricity generation was added to the business activities of Nokia.
The Finnish Rubber Works was founded in 1898 by Eduard Polón and started manufacturing rubber products and galoshes and this later became the rubber business of Nokia. In the early 1900s, the Finnish Rubber Works started factories near Nokia town and started to use the Nokia as the brand name.
In 1912, the Finnish Cable Works was founded by Arvid Wickstrom, the producer of electrical cables, telegraph and telephones and also the foundation of the the cable and electrical businesses of Nokia. When Nokia was almost bankrupt in 1910s and to continue the supply electricity, Nokia was acquired by Finnish Rubber Works. It also acquired Finnish Cable Works in 1922.
The three companies started operating jointly since 1922 and formed a new industrial conglomerate. The Nokia Corporation was the collective term and this new company focused on many industries like paper products, bicycle and car tires, footwear, televisions, communication cables, electricity generation machinery, capacitors, robotics, personal computers, consumer electronics, militatry equipment and more.
Later, in 1990s the company decided to focus on the fastest growing sector in the telecommunications sector. Nokian Tyres, the tire manufacturer split itself from Nokia Corporation and formed its own company in 1988. In that decade, Nokia divested the non-telecommunication segments that were involved in it.