[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
The Land of the Mobile Millionaires
First broadcast October 2007

Mobile phone
Matthew Sweet presents the extraordinary story of Finland's Nokia Millionaires.

 Listen to the programme

The Finnish farming village of Pukkila lies to the north-east of Helsinki.

In 1962 Onni Nurmi, a reclusive bachelor from the village, died leaving a few hundred shares in a small company that produced rubber boots.

His sole stipulation was that the shares were never to be sold and that the dividends were to be used "for the recreation of the people" living in the village's modest nursing home.

Mr Nurmi's bequest was executed and the sluggish pace of life in Pukkila continued uninterrupted for the next 30 years. Then, in 1992, the value of the shares rocketed and they became worth tens of millions of pounds sterling overnight.

The rubber boot company was Nokia. It had diversified into the mobile telephony business in the 1980s and soon became the world's largest manufacturer of mobile phones. Its shares have since made millionaires of the elderly residents of the Pukkila nursing home.

Aside from this, Nokia provides tens of thousands of jobs and has single-handedly pulled Finland out of the recession of the early 1990s, which was brought on by the loss of the country's most important markets as the Soviet Union collapsed.

But 'Nokianisation' has created a society with a split personality: a high tax economy with a large public sector on the one hand and a pioneering global player on the other.

Moreover, Finland is a mere one per cent of Nokia's market. So what's to keep the company based there? It's a growing anxiety in Finland that its figurehead company may decide to re-locate elsewhere.


Terms of Use
The BBC Podcasts are for your personal non-commercial use only.

All title, ownership rights and intellectual property rights in and to the BBC Podcasts shall remain the property of the BBC or third parties.

You may not edit, alter, adapt or add to the BBC Podcast in any way. The BBC Podcasts are made available by the BBC on an "as is" and "as available" basis and the BBC gives no warranty of any kind in relation to the BBC Podcast.

To the maximum extent permitted by law the BBC will not be liable for any loss or damage which you may suffer as a result of or connected to the download or use of the BBC Podcasts

See the full BBC Podcast: Standard Licence Terms here.


Download or subscribe to this programme's podcast

PodcastHelp


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific