It’s no secret that, in spite of multiple reassurances by Tim Cook, Apple’s position in India is plummeting and with nearly half a dozen of its executives quitting in the last year, it seemed way too far from the right track. The company isn’t, of course, giving up just yet and is taking a significant step forward. Apple has today announced it’s bringing in Ashish Chowdhary, a Nokia veteran, to head its operations in India.
Ashish Chowdhary, who was serving as Nokia’s Chief Customer Operations Officer, will be succeeding Michel Coulomb who took over Indian operations less than a year ago from Sanjay Kaul. The move will come into effect next year in January.
Chowdhary has been with Nokia for more than a decade since 2003 and has been responsible for driving the company in its prime. In addition, he has been an executive board member of Nokia Networks and NSN since 2009. With over twenty-five years of experience in the industry, Apple hopes to revitalize its presence in the country with this acquisition.
In a Bloomberg report five months ago, we also learned how Apple aims to regain market share in India. Apart from setting up first-party stores, the company will be putting in place a better retail strategy which will involve redefined sales targets, trained staff, and consistent holiday deals.
Although Apple’s chances to win over customers with simply overhauled stores and aggressive marketing seem thin. Its core issues in emerging countries like India primarily revolve around pricing. The majority of the company’s sales in India largely come from a three-generation-old iPhone. Its most affordable smartphone available, iPhone SE is still double the price of what Indians usually spend and its latest is nearly ten times of the same. Local manufacturing is what we believe could be the answer to at least some of Apple’s woes in India but compared to OEMs like Oppo, Xiaomi or Samsung, it still has a lot of catching up to do.