DESCRIBING diversity as one of the company’s key values, Apple CEO Tim Cook told The Indian Express on Friday that the tech giant believes some of the best products are made by the most diverse people.
Cook, who was in Delhi during his four-day trip to India, was responding to a question about his views on Donald Trump, the controversial frontunner to be Republican nominee for the US presidential elections this year.
Trump has advocated a freeze on Muslims entering the country, selective entry for migrants and much tougher border controls.
“Our company’s values are that we are open for everyone, we believe strongly in diversity and believe the best products are made by the most diverse people and we welcome everyone,” said Cook.
Following meetings with several Indian industrialists and stakeholders, including Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani, Cook said that India was huge for Apple. “Not just from a market point of view. We are looking at India more holistically than that,” he said.
He said Apple has “sort of prioritised India as one of the top things we are working on”, and that he saw a “reform-minded government, perhaps still in the early stages, but clearly moving things to welcome businesses”.
Asked about Apple’s India strategy, Cook said, “We had an idea with certified pre-owned and we are working with the government on that. There is some misunderstanding if that is refurbished and it is not that at all. These are things we do in the US, Japan and pretty much every country in the world. And so, that would be bringing a level of operational responsibility and training into the country, which I think is really important,” he said.
It is “clear that we need an Apple retail presence over time, so we are working on that as well”, he said.
Asked if there was scope for a more affordable phone for markets like India, Cook said Apple will “not lower the bar and say we will reduce our standard to make another product”.
“The pre-owned market allows us to reach customers who really want an Apple device but can’t really reach that point,” he said.
Cook said the goal of his India trip was to learn, “really focusing on people, culture and how businesses have done”.
“Obviously, I have a lot more to learn. The thing that sticks more is how warm the people are. Unlike other parts of the world, you instantly feel a part of the community. You feel accepted. I think there is an incredible competitive advantage for India to feel like that,” he said.
“The other thing is that the energy and vibrancy is unbelievable. Part of that is is youth perhaps, or is it more than that? I was with people of all ages at the temple (in Mumbai), at cricket (in Kanpur), these are really passionate people with so much enthusiasm in life. I think there is a lesson there for the world.”