Tim Cook meets Modi, explores manufacturing, retailing in India

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed at length with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the possibilities of manufacturing and retailing Apple devices in India.

Cook not only shared Apple’s future plans for India but also appreciated the breadth of young talent in the country, saying the youth here have significant skills which Apple would like to tap.

The 55-year-old head of Cupertino-based tech giant told Modi about the immense potential for “app-development” that exists in the country, elaborating on the Map Development Centre that Apple is setting up in Hyderabad, a statement from Prime Minister’s Office said.

“He appreciated the prime minister’s initiatives in ease of doing business,” the statement added.

Modi explained his Digital India initiative and identified its three key objectives as e-education, health and increasing farmers’ incomes. Modi sought support from Apple in these objectives.

Issues regarding cyber security and data encryption also came up for discussion. The prime minister encouraged Cook to help the global community to cope with the challenges of cyber crime.

The Apple CEO also appreciated the prime minister’s initiatives for renewable energy, saying that Apple runs on 93 percent renewable energy and it will move entire supply chain to renewable energy soon.

Delegation members accompanying Cook also spoke of their experiences in rural Rajasthan where several villages have recently been electrified and women are being skilled to assemble and operate solar energy equipment.

Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa P. Jackson, who reports directly to Cook, visited the non-profit The Barefoot College in Tilonia, Ajmer, this week.

Tim Cook also launched an updated version of the “Narendra Modi Mobile App” during his meting with the prime minister.

“I urge you to have a look at the new feature ‘My Network’ that empowers you to contribute on lively and enriching forums where you can share your ideas and deliberate with others. You will also enjoy the daily tasks on the app,” the prime minister added.

In an interview with an Indian TV channel on Friday, Tim Cook asserted that he was looking at India holistically and Apple was “here for the next thousand years” — a comment that was hailed by Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at an event later.

“I complement Apple chief executive for a public commitment of one thousand years in India. We are ready to work together,” Prasad said.

Tim Cook also met Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, one of India’s leading telecommunication companies which was the first to launch 4G in India and set to offer the service countrywide.

On the second day of his India visit, he inaugurated the tech giant’s map development centre in Hyderabad and visited a women’s college.

For the map development centre, Apple has partnered with Noida-based RMSI, a leading IT services player that offers GIS, analytics and software services. Tim Cook also revealed plans for an iOS app design and development facility in Bengaluru a day earlier.

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