Modi seeks to harness Tesla, Apple tech

India has a special place in the heart of every Apple employee: Cook

September 28, 2015 01:13 am | Updated November 17, 2021 02:04 am IST - San Jose:

On his first day in Silicon Valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent one-on-one time with two CEOs above most others.

During Mr. Modi’s visit to Tesla and his meeting with its founder Elson Musk, the focus was on adapting and obtaining the company’s “Powerwall” invention for India, namely a long-term storage device for solar energy which could “bring energy to hitherto unserviced areas of India”.

However, such battery storage as suitable for Indian needs would look at more than just solar power, officials said, adding that it could be useful where there was a need for off-peak power from alternative sources. At this point, however, it appears that the cost of the battery may potentially exceed what is commercially feasible or widely affordable in the Indian context.

In a meeting with the Prime Minister later in the day, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “India has a special place in the heart of every Apple employee for the simple reason that Steve Jobs, when he was young man, went to India for inspiration and it was what he saw in India that infused in him the desire to create Apple,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said.

Mr. Cook also highlighted before Mr. Modi the enormous impact that the app-development economy could have in India, particularly for entrepreneurship, where individual app developers could become self-made entrepreneurs. In citing this, Mr. Cook mentioned the example of China where, he said, Apple had created 15 lakh jobs.

From Apple’s viewpoint, there is already a lot of design innovation happening in India, Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Arun Singh noted, adding that as Apple expands its reach in India in the longer term, there would be an enhanced opportunity for app development related to Apple platforms, and this would be an important part of the Digital India strategy.

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