Apple Plans to Open its Own Stores in India, Seeks DIPP Approval!
Until now Apple has been selling its products through a franchise network, you might have seen around. India is one of the countries where ‘i’ products are considered premium and carry an exclusive tag.
What Apple did not take note is the fact that it can cut down on costs by selling its products through own channels rather than relying on the franchises for everything.
According to a report, Apple has filed an application with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to set up its own stores in the country. While DIPP has not yet approved the request, DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said, “We have just received Apple’s proposal. We are examining it.” The application does not disclose the investment amount Apple is going to make in the country for setting up its own stores at various locations across metros.
Apple had been staying away from such investment in India because of restrictions in Foreign Direct Investments(FDI) in single brand retail. Since the norms have been relaxed from November 2015, it makes sense for the Cupertino giant to step into the country with its full fledged plans of setting up own stores and outlets.
Apple also wishes to sell its products online like it has been doing in other countries, through its own website. Once Apple is able to do all of the above, the next step would be to ramp up its customer service in the country and pricing the products right.
Apple had received a lot of flak for treating India as a third world country in the past, by launching products six months late as compared to US and Europe. However, things eased out a bit since end of 2014 once lot of franchise stores popped up here and there in cities and Apple was able to calm the uproar down by launching the latest gadgets very close to the US launch dates. Gone are the days when you had to wait 3-4 months just to assess your decision in buying a new smartphone.
Apple touched the $1 Billion mark last year in June, with sales growth overtaking that in China. Such a feat has only been possible through the local retailers in the country, along with the buyback and cashback schemes run by Apple along with local Telcos.
If Apple is making a move to sell its phones directly from its stores and website, it means it is serious about business in India, where smartphone sales are skyrocketing. Most of the Apple products come with ‘Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China’, and we can only hope to see India’s name there imprinted on every product.
[Image Source: Shutterstock.com]