According to DIPP (Departament of Industrial Policy and Promotion) and The Wall Street Journal’s Livemint blog report, Apple may open its own shops in India following the Indian government decision to allow full ownership of single-brand retail stores by foreign companies. The only restriction from the government remains the rule which states that 30% of the produced items sold must come from local Indian resources.
When asked whether the 30% local sourcing clause will be a hindrance, a 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”.
Currently, Apple doesn’t own any store in India, but has exclusive reselling arrangements with Imagine and iStore chains (owned by Reliance Digital). Apple has seen a lot of success in China where they possess a manufacturing base and 5 retail stores and they dominate the market. India also presents a big potential as the population is estimated at 1.2 billion and 10% of it (meaning 120.000.000) could afford buying Apple products. This move would have a big impact on the market as competitors won’t stay hand crossed. However, Apple Inc. has not officially commented on the reports yet.
“Apple’s interest in opening stores on its own is understandable as the brand works on this model in several countries, said Saloni Nangia, senior vice-president at retail consultancy Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd.”