- Apple’s chief executive in India has reportedly left the company.
- The company has reportedly replaced the head of sales with another long-time executive already.
- The move comes during a tough week for the firm, which had to increase the prices of most of its devices in the country due to new government regulations on imported products.
Apple’s chief of operations for India, Sanjay Kaul, has decided to step down from his role and the company altogether, and is moving out with immediate effect, according to a report from Reuters.
The Cupertino giant seemingly confirmed the decision by appointing a long-time executive, Michel Coulomb, as the new head of sales for its India business, as per Reuters’ sources.
The Economic Times independently confirmed the news, too, with one person familiar with the matter telling them that “Sanjay has moved on,” and that “he will no longer be heading India operations.”
The Indian paper is also reporting that Kaul, following a six-year permanence at Apple, might be moving out of the mobile phone business entirely, and venturing into something new and different.
Coulomb, on the other hand, is an Apple veteran who has worked for the company since 2003, and most recently led the firm’s operations in South Asia as managing director.
The move comes in a particularly intense week for Apple in India, as new government regulations have forced the company to raise the prices of all iPhone models by an average of 3.5%.
As western markets — as well as, crucially, China — become increasingly saturated, Apple is trying to break through other countries like India, where the slower pace of technology adoption means its billion-plus citizens represent a huge untapped potential.
The new regulations are adding a 10-15% tax on imported electronics, a move that will likely incentivise Apple to increase manufacturing in the country.
At the moment, it only makes small batches of its iPhone SE in Bengaluru; however, if it wants to retain (and increase) the meager 2.2% market share, the company might have to do more, or ever-surging prices could pose a real threat to its India business.
“The choice for Apple is clear: To retain its existing market share, it will have to ramp up local manufacturing in India,” Prabhu Ram, head of the industry intelligence group at CyberMedia Research, told The Economic Times.