When Apple announced $61.1 billion revenue for its fiscal 2018 second quarter in May, company CEO Tim Cook had said he will now put great energy into the growing Indian market. The quarter contained the revenue generated in the month of January -- the same month when a company official had announced that Apple would create 4,000 jobs in the country. On similar lines, the Cupertino-based giant is reported to have employed 3,500 people for its Hyderabad facility and wishes to take the number to 5,000 eventually.
In a statement to PTI, Jayesh Ranjan Principal Secretary IT and Industries in Telangana government, said “Apple has taken 3,500 people so far for their development centre in Hyderabad. They will totally hire 5000 people eventually. There is no time frame for that (to achieve 5000 headcount).” The development can be seen as a part of Apple's rejig in the top brass in India. Apple’s India Head Sanjay Kaul was replaced by new country head Michel Coulomb following a five-year long sales slowdown. The company is also looking to change its iPhone sales strategy in India and increase focus on brick-and-mortar retail channels.
Apple has been working a lot to expand its business in the South Asian markets and has identified India as the hotbed to boost its sales. Last year it aligned with government’s “Make in India” project and started manufacturing the iPhone SE in the country. It also opened a centre that focuses on development of Maps for its products. The company is in a logjam with the government on a couple of issues regarding the opening of its retail stores in the country.
Apple has been planning to open its Retail Stores in India since 2015 but getting an approval from the government has proved to be a lengthy affair. So now, Apple wants to open ‘bigger’ franchisee outlets that will deliver the same experience as an Apple Store as it looks to generate experience-based revenue in India. Apple has around 3 percent share of the total Indian smartphone market while in the premium segment it is competing with Samsung and China's OnePlus, which recently became the top brand in the premium smartphone market.
Earlier this year, Apple set a new first-half record in India. “We continue to put great energy there... Our objective over time is to go in there with all of our different initiatives from retail and everything else. It's a huge market and it's clear that many people will be moving into the middle class over time, as we've seen in other countries,” Cook had said at that time. The top executive had previously praised how rapidly 4G network investment began rolling out in India. “They’re moving at a speed that I have not seen in any other country in the world once they were started, and it is truly impressive,” he said. India is the third largest smartphone market in the world after China and US.