Apple and India, sitting in a tree

From “India makes it easier for brands like Apple to open stores” on CNN Business:

The Indian government announced Wednesday that global single-brand retailers will no longer need its permission to own and operate stores in the country.

Foreign companies previously needed government approval to own more than 49% of an Indian retail operation, leading many to partner with Indian companies or rely on local distributors and franchises.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has been trying to make it easier to do business in India by relaxing some regulations and changing its tax system to create a single, national market.

Those efforts appear to be paying off. Foreign investment into India hit a record high of about $60 billion in the fiscal year to March 2017, the government said Wednesday…

Apple, which should benefit from the new regulations, faces other official hurdles, chief among them a requirement that foreign retailers must source 30% of their products locally. It began manufacturing some iPhones at a plant in Bangalore in May last year.

My take: Then come iPhones in a tanga carriage.

See also: The Apple 3.0 India archives


  1. Fred Stein said:
    Is that a typo, “fiscal year to March 2017”?

    Anyway, good for India and for Apple. Apple will be a great employer to a lucky few.

    May 30, 2020
    • Frank Pedron said:
      The article Philip linked to is dated January 10, 2018.

      May 30, 2020
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    It takes time to overcome the inertia of entrenched special interests. Modi has to be a model politician to be able to successfully navigate the line between those special interests, and an open market that benefits the greater good.

    FY2023 should be a very big year for Apple in India.

    May 30, 2020
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    Apple prefers not to partner with another entity. Apple wants to own the process and the experience associated with the finished product (or service) that accompanies it. In this regard, India has been a tough nut-to-crack.

    Tim Cook has worked tirelessly with the Indian government leaders to make inroads into the Indian consumer market. The current administration also has worked assertively with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open his economy more to American businesses for an even trade playing field between the 2 countries.

    India is the world’s largest democracy. Its population essentially is the same as China’s population (1.3B/1.4B). China’s population is aging. India’s population is the youngest on the planet for the next 20 years.

    Apple will be successful in sourcing the 30% needed. The problem is the humongous government regulatory processes existing in the world’s largest democracy. I’m reminded of the anecdotal comments from a business associate who once told me that if China under its authoritarian regime wants to build an airport they mark the land, move the people off and commence construction finishing the airport within 2-3 years. India spends 3 years arguing where to mark the land, another 7 negotiating with its people to move off and 10 more in construction finishing the project for a total of 20 years.

    We have been discussing Apple’s push into India for around 7 years. We still have years to go.

    May 30, 2020
  4. Dan Scropos said:
    Years and years of extreme discipline at Apple will finally pay off. Rather than chasing low margin units sold, Apple opted to keep their strong brand image, even if it meant selling few phones. Others chose brand dilution and a race to the bottom. Only now will Apple truly begin to be judged in India, and we know how this will probably end—successfully.

    May 30, 2020

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