Tim Cook is in India and he is mixing business with pleasure, and spirituality. The CEO of the $233 billion Apple Inc., on his maiden India trip, started his day early on Wednesday with a visit to the Shree Siddhivinayak temple, shortly after arriving on his private jet from China, where Apple announced a $1 billion investment in taxi-hailing company, Didi Chuxing.
Mr. Cook’s first visit assumes significance as Apple reported its first quarterly drop in global iPhone sales last month, while its India revenues grew by 56 per cent.
Coinciding with the visit, the company announced an iOS mobile app design centre in Bengaluru, intended to support and accelerate the growth of Apple’s developer community.
In addition, Mr. Cook met mobile app developers in Mumbai. After the conversation, he tweeted, “Great to hear from some of India’s top iOS developers today. Innovative apps and many ideas for the future!” He had breakfast with Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry, before meeting N. Chandrasekharan, CEO, Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest software exporter.
Later, Mr. Cook joined RIL executives Manoj Modi and Sanjay Mashruwala, MD of 4G venture Reliance Jio, for lunch at Antilia, the Ambani residence. RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, away in the U.S., was expected to join Mr. Cook for dinner, hosted by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. He also met Sunil Sood, MD & CEO, Vodafone India, India’s second largest telecom services provider.
App developers get a taste
Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an impetus to the iOS community on his India visit, meeting a clutch of them on his first day here.
“From meeting Tim Cook, we feel that Apple is extremely enthusiastic about growing the App ecosystem in India,” said Apurva Roy Choudhury, CEO, Cynapse. “They have a strong roadmap for the future,” he added. Its app, Numerics, is a business dashboard app for iPhone, iPad and Apple watch.
“We attracted Apple’s interest due to our unique use of their technology and were invited along with three other developers to present our apps to the Apple team,” said Choudhury.
Telecom & Banking
Apple is also keen on bundled offerings with telecom companies in India, said an official in a large Indian conglomerate. With bundling, users would get to buy phones at a low cost and remain with a mobile operator for a period, with financing options built in.
Significantly, after meeting Reliance Jio and Vodafone executives, Mr. Cook is slated to meet Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Group that owns Airtel.
In Mumbai, he met ICICI Bank’s MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar. ICICI Bank was among the first to introduce a banking application on the Apple Watch, even before it was introduced in India.
He also met HDFC Ltd chairman Deepak Parekh.
(With inputs from Sanjay Vijayakumar)