This is literally like ‘icing on the cake’. While PM Modi already has meetings and interaction schedules with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Adobe CEO etc., he now also has the CEO of world’s most valuable company, Tim Cook, on his list.
Modi, as is common knowledge now, is visiting the Silicon Valley later this month — making it the first ever visit by an Indian PM in past three decades, and the first ever visit by an Indian PM to pitch in India as an attractive manufacturing destination and innovation hub.
Sources close to the arrangement of this meeting, have told ET that Apple Inc and Prime Minister’s Office are in contact with regard to the agenda of the meeting. Nothing has been disclosed on that front.
The Prime Minister, as has been the agenda for 90% of his foreign visits, will be looking to showcase initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ and persuade the Cupertino-giant to invest in manufacturing and research & development (R&D) in India.
Tim Cook on the other hand, might ask Modi for relaxation in certain norms, specially the dilution of mandatory local sourcing norms, and would be looking to get approval to open up exclusive, fully-owned Apple Stores within the country — something which currently requires partnership with an Indian retailer. Apple might also be looking to ask Modi for certain relaxation in India’s massive export duty rates, which in turn makes iPhones exorbitantly pricey.
One of the sources told ET,
Apple…has also shown interest in the proposed meeting as it wants to explore R&D activities in India to begin with and also understand foreign direct investment regulations in retail so that it can explore future possibilities to set up its flagship company-owned stores.
Tim Cook would hence join up one of the most glamorous tech line-up ever assembled for an incoming dignitary. This line-up already includes the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk among others, and may well grow into a longer list in coming few weeks.