Apple Inc doesnât want to lose any time in grabbing the opportunity of the recent relaxations announced by the Indian government. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held a series of discussions with representatives of several business segments in the country and followed them up with some relaxations in terms imposed for doing business here. One of these announcements related to foreign entities in single brand retail being permitted to operate online retail channels without having to setup brick and mortar shops first. That was the stipulation earlier.
But the latest developments indicate the Apple may want to set up a few brick and mortar outlets too besides having an online channel to sell its products. Apple already has a contract manufacturing arrangement in India. The company has been seeking a lot of concessions from the government in terms of the local contents in the products being manufactured here.
The retail outlets of Apple are named âglobal experience centresâ and reports indicate that the first such store might be setup in Mumbai.
It cannot be denied that the current trade standoff between the United States and China has forced many players to look at alternative locations and many of them would want to come to India.
However, to create those world-class manufacturing facilities in India, these companies will want world-class infrastructure which the Indian government must be able to provide. The current government is already moving in the direction of reforms, in areas like Factories Act and labour laws. These may become critical if these large enterprises decide to setup shop here.
Speaking of just the mobile phone industry, a report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) states that handsets market is worth about $467 billion (about Rs 32 trillion) worldwide, and just four countries China, Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan, practically meet the full market demand. India has a long way to go before it can claim a foothold in this ocean of an industry.