Expressing interest in making Apple products in India, the global technology giant’s chief Tim Cook on Saturday discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “possibilities of manufacturing” and tapping the young talent pool in the country.
On his maiden visit to India, the Apple CEO also discussed with Modi issues regarding cyber-security and data encryption.
“Cook shared Apple Inc’s future plans for India. He spoke of the possibilities of manufacturing and retailing in India. He appreciated the breadth of young talent in India and said the youth have significant skills which Apple would like to tap,” an official statement said.
The Apple chief’s meeting with the PM assumes significance and comes at a time when India is seen as the only bright spot for smartphone companies such as Apple, while world over the shipments are expected to decline. Also, Apple is betting big on India and its young population for its next phase of growth after its sales fell in China, its largest market until recently.
Cook has already announced during this trip setting of an app development centre in Bengaluru and one for maps in Hyderabad. During his meeting with Modi, Cook highlighted the immense potential for app development in the country.
He also narrated to the Prime Minister his experiences, including a visit to Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai and watching a cricket match in Kanpur.
Modi, appreciating Cook, said that in India “seeing is believing” and added these experiences would definitely steer his business decisions. Cook said the company is looking to be in India for a long run and it is “exactly the right time” to be in India, as telecom firms roll out 4G high speed internet services. He also appreciated the PM’s initiatives on ease of doing business and renewable energy, the statement read.
The California-based maker of iPhone and iPads plans to sell refurbished smartphones in the but its proposals have been rejected twice. Moreover, the company also plans to set up its own retail outlets, and is seeking ease of local sourcing rules for it to set up shops here.
Prime Minister Modi also sought Apple’s help in furthering his objectives of Digital India through education, health and increasing farmers incomes, the official statement added.
During the meeting, Cook also launched an updated version of the PM’s mobile app.
After the meeting, Modi tweeted: “Thank you @tim_cook! Friends, welcome & happy volunteering. Your views and efforts are always enriching.” He also shared photos with the Apple CEO on his Twitter handle.
Cook, in a response, tweeted: “Thanks PM @narendramodi for a great meeting. Already looking forward to next visit to India. Best wishes on the app!”
Meanwhile, delegation members accompanying Apple CEO also spoke of their experiences in rural Rajasthan, where several villages have recently been electrified and women are being skilled to assemble and operate solar energy equipment.
Both Cook and Modi shared stories of entrepreneurship that they had come across in app development and renewable energy, the statement added.
Cook also congratulated Modi on recent election results and spoke about his visit to India and that he had been received with great warmth.
“I urge you to have a look at the new feature ‘My Network’ that empowers you to contribute on lively and enriching forums where you can share your ideas and deliberate with others. You will also enjoy the daily tasks on the App,” Modi tweeted.
FE with inputs from agencies