Apple Stores May Come Up in India After All, Thanks to Temporary Local Sourcing Waivers!
The Government and the technology giant, Apple, have been in a tussle for very long and there seems to be no resolution to it. Wishing to open its own stores in India, Apple has been trying to put forward some exceptions before the Government for approvals.
The Government earlier had planned to exempt Apple for 30% local sourcing norms, which would have allowed Apple to open its own single brand retail stores in India. However, the last resolution from the Government forbade any relaxation and exception to Apple and this did not go down well with a company that has seen a lot of potential in India.
Now, according to reports, Apple may get an exception after-all, but with a caveat that in the next 2-3 years, it will have to arrange for local sourcing of raw materials for its products. If Apple agrees, it will have to start sourcing components from local players once the gestation period is over.
In his visit to India, Tim Cook, CEO – Apple, said, “I sort of view India as where China was seven to ten years ago from that point of view. I think there’s a really great opportunity there.”
According to TOI’s sources, discussions have already started between the Ministry of Finance and DIPP to allow the Cupertino-based company to open its retail stores in India for a few initial years without any local sourcing norms.
Is it fair to relax norms for just Apple?
A compromise is usually a better option so that both the parties benefit from the decision. On one hand, the Government is correct is not making a complete exception for Apple, considering a lot of other tech giants like Samsung, Xiaomi and Gionee and planning to open their own stores in India soon.
On the other hand, Apple also needs to ensure it creates jobs when setting up a service in India and does not pose threat to local players. Local sourcing might not provide the company the best quality components as in China, but will help it to reduce the bloated prices in India.
2 to 3 years seem a bit long for such a huge company to follow some specifications set by the Government and it might not be fair to other companies looking forward to opening stores in India. The timelines might not final yet, but we hope the Government gives a good thought to it.
The next week is going to be crucial for Apple since the Government is expected to take a firm decision on this and not drag this anymore. We’re hoping the Government does not turn too hostile towards Apple, and at the same time does not let it get away so easily.