For years, Apple has tried to make inroads within the world’s second-most populous country. The iPhone maker has struggled to make much progress due to a wide range of structural challenges associated with expanding its presence.
Four years ago a policy change at India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) revised its rules on foreign companies owning single-brand retail stores, which theoretically opened up a path for Apple to set up its own retail stores. The main catch was a requirement that any such store must source at least 30% of the value of its products from within India, an effort to bolster the local economy. Apple has been working with Indian officials ever since, continuing to evaluate how to set up shop because Apple is unable to meet that sourcing requirement.
Earlier this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected Apple’s request for leeway on the requirement. Apple had been seeking an exception based on the fact that its products are “state of the art” and “cutting edge,” which make them eligible for an exception.
By Baishakhi Dutta