Ravi Shankar Prasad wants Apple to set up R&D facility in India
New Delhi: Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today asked tech giant Apple to consider opening an R&D facility in India as the country offers great business opportunities.
The Minister, who met Apple Head Compliance EMEIA region John Reynolds, said though the US firm did not have a powerful presence in the country, it sold products worth $730 million here in 2013-14 fiscal.
"Apple is a very effective brand in India and personally I requested them to consider opening a good R&D centre in India," Prasad said after the meeting.
He said a R&D centre in the country would help the tech-giant in getting good business propositions in other parts of Asia as well.
Describing the meeting as positive, Prasad said he would visit Apple's facility in Silicon Valley next month during his trip to USA for a Nasscom event.
"I was very happy to learn that though Apple do not have a very powerful presence yet, in the financial year 2013-14 they sold their products worth $730 million in India. I am sure with 2014-15, it must have crossed more...From my side I welcome them to explore India in a big way," Prasad added. Reynolds said during the meeting he got some fascinating information about the country.
Sources though said the Apple has been given an assurance that in case they want to set up a manufacturing facility in the country, apart from the incentive schemes announced by the Centre, the state governments may also give additional incentives.
"It was conveyed to him that in the event they propose to expand their operations here including manufacturing then enough encouraging response will come not only from Centre by all its incentive schemes but the state governments may vie with each other to give further incentives in lieu of the big brand of Apple," sources said.
Apple is planing to grow its business in India, one of the world's fastest growing market for smart devices, and the company is re-looking at its distribution landscape and redefining its customer segments.
According to CyberMedia Research, the iPhone maker has emerged as the largest 4G LTE device vendor in India with a market share of 45% in October-December 2014.
The research firm said over a million LTE devices including smartphones, tablets and data cards were shipped to the Indian market in the fourth quarter of 2014, marking the "coming of age" of the 4G devices.
Company's latest large-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are also among the top sold premium handsets in India.