NEW DELHI, May 21, (AP): Apple CEO Tim Cook laid out his company’s plans for the vast Indian market in a meeting Saturday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in turn sought Apple’s support for his “Digital India” initiative focusing on e-education, health and increasing farmers’ incomes.
Modi and Cook also discussed cybersecurity and data encryption at their meeting in New Delhi, a government statement said. Modi suggested that Cook help the global community cope with the challenges of cybercrime.
Cook, who arrived in India on Tuesday and is winding down his trip, spoke of the potential for the manufacturing and retailing of Apple products in India, and the possibilities for app development in the country, the statement said.
Apple has just a 2 percent share of the smartphone market in India, one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets.
Cook spoke about his visits to the Indian cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kanpur and his meetings with business leaders, young people and Bollywood actors. In particular, he mentioned his visit to the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, and the cricket match he saw in the northern city of Kanpur, the statement said.
Modi said that in India, “seeing is believing,” and that Cook’s experiences on his trip would help steer his business decisions.
The prime minister explained his Digital India initiative to Cook, identifying its three key objectives as e-education, health and increasing farmers’ incomes, the statement said, adding that Modi sought support from Apple in furthering the objectives.
Digital India, a flagship program of Modi’s government, attempts to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy through the use of information technology.
Cook told Modi that he appreciated the breadth of young talent in India, and that the country’s youth have significant skills that Apple would like to tap, according to the statement.
He also elaborated on the Map Development Centre that Apple Inc. is setting up in the southern city of Hyderabad, one of India’s information technology hubs.
Cook also said he appreciated Modi’s initiatives for renewable energy. He said Apple runs on 93 percent renewable energy, and spoke of plans to move Apple’s entire supply chain to renewable energy.