It’s a well-known secret that Apple has been trying to setup its exclusive retail stores in India, but due to the stringent FDI rules that required mandatory partial local sourcing, companies like Apple had hit a roadblock. Now in a recent turn of events, it seems that companies like Apple and Ikea will finally be able to setup their own retail stores in India. The breather comes in the form of amends in FDI rules that would now allow 100% FDI in single-brand retail trading with relaxed norms.
The FDI overhaul seems to be the result of a high-level meeting which was presided over by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apple had been vying for the permission to setup its Apple Stores which have been known for their unprecedented customer care and quick turnaround time for customer resolution. It is through these stores that Apple would finally be able to bridge the gap between themselves and the customers.
A couple of months ago it was speculated that Apple would be exempted from the FDI laws as the company claimed to come under the ‘State of Art Tech’ umbrella. Then came yet another report that Apple would not be exempted from the local sourcing laws. After all the dilly dallying, a press release from the Prime Minister’s office mentioned the amends to the law.
That being said, local sourcing laws are relaxed just for a period of three years, post which the law might once again be put up for reconsideration. Moreover, the relaxation in the law is concerned with only the ‘State of the art’ and ‘cutting edge’ companies. This is something companies like Apple, Xiaomi, LeEco and Ikea need to prove before getting a final go ahead. On a related note, Apple has reportedly fired up its plans to open up official stores each occupying 10,000 sq.ft at locations in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai.
The current non-Apple owned retail stores will exist but the ones located in the aforementioned regions might witness a downfall in the sales numbers owing to the Apple’s own stores. That being said, the Apple stores will still be very small in number and are expected to cover the metro areas across India.