Frenny Bawa, Managing Director, Research In Motion (RIM) India speaks during a news conference at the launch of the Blackberry PlayBook in Mumbai June 22, 2011
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 overBlackBerry'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.
'This is to confirm that Frenny Bawa,'s managing director for India, is leaving RIM in order to pursue other interests. We appreciate 's past contributions to RIM's growth and we wish her all the best,' the company's spokesperson said.
The development comes close on heels of BlackBerry drawing flak from scores of subscribers over a recent three-day blackout of services worldwide, including in India.
The company, however, denied any relation between the two events.
'We will keep you posted on Frenny's replacement in due course of time,' the statement added.
In the interim, Urpo Karjalainen, senior vice president - Greater China, India & ANZ, will oversee the business operations for India.
India has close to one million BlackBerry subscribers