Research In Motion's Indian unit said on Thursday its managing director Frenny Bawa has left the company to pursue other interests and the BlackBerry-maker has appointed an interim head for the country's operations. Urpo Karjalainen, senior vice president for Greater China, India and Australia and New Zealand, will oversee the business operations for India in the interim until RIM names a replacement for Bawa, it said in a statement. RIM has been buffeted by demands from governments including India for access to secure BlackBerry communication.
Earlier this year, it gave India access to its consumer services, including its Messenger services but said it could not allow monitoring of its enterprise email. Last month, a four-day service outage cast a shadow over BlackBerry's reputation in India, one of the smartphone maker's few growing markets, where the frustration of hundreds of thousands of users could mean a chance for its rivals to gain ground. More than a million people use BlackBerry in India, the world's second-biggest mobile phone market. RIM has established a strong, but not dominant, foothold in the price-sensitive market thanks largely to its cheap models.