Apple has named Michel Coulomb as the head of its operations in India after Sanjay Kaul, who headed its sales operations in the country, put in his papers. India is a key market for the iconic iPhone maker.
Apple India has confirmed the development. Coulomb is a veteran at Apple and has held various roles from 2003 onwards. Most recently, he was the Managing Director (South Asia). He also has the experience of handling the Middle East, Turkey and Africa sales team, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The development comes close on the heels of Apple India announcing a price hike of almost every iPhone model it sells by up to Rs 3,720 after the government raised import duty on smartphones. The decision to increase basic customs duty was taken last week to promote domestic manufacturers and give a leg-up to Modi government's ambitious 'Make in India' initiative.
Apple India posted sales of Rs 11,619 crore for the year ended March 2017 which translates to a 17 per cent growth in India. Apple has termed India as one of its fastest growing markets and has launched several initiatives in the country over the past 2 years including production and manufacturing of iphones.
India, which is among the fastest growing smartphone markets globally, is one of the key bets for the Cupertino- based company.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has, on many occasions, highlighted that the company is very "bullish" and "optimistic" about the India market and that the company is bringing all of its "energies" to expand footprint.
According to reports citing regulatory documents, Apple India had posted 17 per cent growth in sales at Rs 11,619 crore for the year ended March 2017. This is against an annual growth of 53 per cent in the previous year.
The reports suggested that Apple's performance in India could come under further stress after the government's move to increase customs duty to 15 per cent for imported smartphones.
All iPhone models, except for the iPhone SE, are imported.
Industry watchers said the increase in price - by an average of 3.5 per cent - could increase difficulties for the US-based company in the price-sensitive Indian handset market.
with PTI inputs