Cook meets Ambani before store opening Apextalk

New Delhi: A day before India’s first Apple Store opens doors at the Jio World Drive mall in Mumbai, the company’s chief executive officer Tim Cook met Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani and his top executives in the city, a person aware of the matter said.

Cook, who is scheduled to inaugurate the Mumbai store on Tuesday, met Ambani, his son and Reliance Jio chairman Akash Ambani, and daughter and Reliance Retail chairperson Isha Ambani, the person cited above said on condition of anonymity. He also met senior Reliance group executives during his first day in Mumbai.

The Delhi store is set to open on Thursday.

Spokespeople for Apple and Reliance did not comment, but the person cited above said that discussions spanned across Apple’s retail plans in India, local manufacturing and sourcing, and growth of 5G services in India.

Moneycontrol reported that Cook met Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran and other industry leaders, but this could not be independently confirmed. Cook is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ministers from the IT and telecom ministries ahead of the Delhi store opening.

The Apple boss will be meeting customers at the Mumbai store on Tuesday when the store is officially opened. “We can’t wait to welcome our customers to the new Apple BKC tomorrow,” he said in a Twitter post on Monday, showcasing the store and its employees. The Cupertino-headquartered tech giant has so far sold its products through authorized retail partners and online sales channels in India.

“At Apple, our customers are at the centre of everything we do, and our teams are excited to celebrate this wonderful moment with them as we open our first retail store in India,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail. O’Brien said that Apple BKC will offer a special ‘Today at Apple’ series, “Mumbai Rising,” running from 18 April through the summer, where free sessions featuring Apple products and services will be offered.

Cook’s India visit marks a milestone for the iPhone maker, which sees the country as one of its leading growth markets and an increasingly important manufacturing base for its smartphones, Airpods and iPads, as it attempts to reduce its dependence on China.

“India has such a beautiful culture and an incredible energy, and we’re excited to build on our long-standing history — supporting our customers, investing in local communities, and working together to build a better future with innovations that serve humanity,” Cook said in a statement while noting Apple’s 25 years in India and its upcoming retail expansion.

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