Apple Inc is reshuffling management of its international businesses to focus more on India, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The shift will mark the first time India becomes its own sales region at Apple, which has seen demand surge.
In a recent earnings call, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the company is putting “a lot of emphases” on its Indian business. The corporation has also set up an online shop and plans to launch a series of retail stores nationwide within months.
The people said the shift would place India head Ashish Chowdhary in a heightened executive position that will give the country increased prominence inside the tech giant.
Despite sales slowing in some other regions, Apple is seeing strong demand in India and is increasing attention to the country for manufacturing. The California-based tech company has been working with local developers and investing in the Indian app economy.
As a result, iPhone sales have jumped in India. And the country is gaining more importance as a manufacturing alternative to China, where Apple relies on a vast supply chain.
This is an important move for Apple because it relies on a vast manufacturing network in China to produce its iPhones, iPads, and other products. But the firm’s supply chain was strained last year by Beijing’s strict zero-Covid strategy that shut down some factories.
The reshuffling will allow India to become its regional division and give its head more prominence inside the tech giant; the people told Bloomberg News.
However, it will not affect how Apple reports regional sales in public financial results. The company divides the world into seven regions, including the Americas, Greater China, Japan, Asia Pacific, and Europe.
In addition to focusing on India, the reshuffling will help Apple’s largest supplier, Foxconn, raise its workforce to meet the growing demand for iPhones, the people said. As a result, the number of workers at the plant is expected to quadruple over the next two years.
Another significant change is that the head of India will now report directly to Michael Fenger, Apple’s head of product sales. That move comes after Hugues Asseman, the vice president of India, the Middle East, Mediterranean, East Europe, and Africa, retired.
Moreover, Asseman’s former deputy, Ashish Chowdhary, is being promoted to replace him.
While the new management reshuffling will help India become its region at Apple, it will only impact how the tech giant reports its global sales. Instead, the reshuffling will only alter how the company manages its international businesses; the people told Bloomberg News.
The changes are being made to give India more prominence and make it easier for the country to attract investments from the company and its suppliers, according to the people who know the change.
As a result, it will be more difficult for China to remain the biggest market for Apple and its suppliers. But the company’s supply chains have been under stress due to China’s zero-Covid policy and rising geopolitical tensions. And India is emerging as an attractive option for the US tech giant and its manufacturing partners, given its low cost and high-quality production capabilities.