Apple is seeking to increase its footprint in India and has asked permission from GOI to open single brand retail stores and also enter the e-commerce business in the country. The above news has been confirmed by DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant in the Economic Times, and the department is examining the proposal.
It is still unclear how many stores Apple wants to open in India or in which cities the company wants to open its outlets.
In the recent months, Apple Inc. has opened two stores in UAE. At present, Apple maintains its presence in India via a network of franchisee-owned stores and has sought to widen its presence through a string of Authorized Resellers Program.
In November, Government of India had opened some sectors for foreign investment, which included 15 sectors like civil aviation, banking, defense, retail, and news broadcasting.
Single brand retail outlets have been allowed 100% foreign investment via duty-free shops and Limited Liability Partnerships or LLP. At present 100% FDI is permitted in this sector, but investment beyond 49% requires permission from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
According to unnamed sources, Apple is seeking to invest in India but has left out the specifics and has not revealed how much investment it aims to make in the country. It only said that it tries to start its retail outlets and sell products online.
With Indian government slowly opening up its markets Apple feels it is prime time to increase its footprints in the fast growing market.