Apple could soon open its own retail stores in India, expanding the company’s presence in Asia and complimenting the large number of authorised dealers in the country, Livemint reports.
A senior official of the Deparment of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has said that now the Indian government has allowed full ownership of single-brand retail store by foreign companies, it could pave the way for the Cupertino-based company to enter the region and open Apple retail stores.
According to the report, Apple has been in discussion with the department for some time and is keen to pick up negotiations after a bid to enter the country in 2006:
The maker of the iPad and iPhone has been in discussion with the department for some time and is keen to re-enter Indian market after an earlier bid to do so in 2006, said the official on condition of anonymity. DIPP is the nodal department for foreign direct investment (FDI) policy.
Last week, the Indian government allowed single-brand retail trading, opening it up for companies to invest in country and open fully-owned stores. Before, companies were bound by a 51% limit.
That doesn’t mean it would be plain sailing for Apple:
However, proposals involving FDI beyond 51% will have to mandatorily source at least 30% of the total value of the products sold from Indian small industries, village and cottage industries, and artisans and craftsmen.
When asked whether the 30% local sourcing clause will be a hindrance, the DIPP official said, “Let Apple finalize its business plan and the investment it wants to make. If they tell us that the 30% sourcing is a problem, at that stage we will look into it,” he said.
Given Apple’s massive size and potential to encourage spending, it could find a way to circumvent the plans.
Apple currently sells its devices in India via exclusive partnerships with retailers including Imagine and iStore.
Apple has earmarked Asia as a region of immense potential for sales growth, especially in China. With its huge mobile market, it would make sense for the company to formally enter India, further expanding its reach across the globe.