July 07, 2016: After having been rebuffed the first time round over local-sourcing exemptions that the company had sought, India has reached out to Apple on renewing its application to set up wholly-owned stores in the country as per the information from the officials. With the rules for single-brand retail having since been tweaked, the company has a better chance of getting those exclusions, albeit for a three-year period.
The changes in sourcing conditions relating to “cutting edge technology” in single-brand retail has been informed to apple. “The policy is in the public domain for anyone to access. However, a call was made to the company… Apple now needs to tell us if it wants to enter India under the new norms,” said a senior government official who did not wish to be named.
The government did not relax the domestic sourcing condition though it approved the iPhone maker’s application to set up its iconic stores.
Under the changes made last month, single-brand retailers selling ‘state of the art’ or ‘cutting edge technology’ products will not have to meet this condition for up to three years from the commencement of operations.
Apple need to convey its request formally to the government and there will not be a necessity to submit a fresh application if it wants to avail of the exemption from sourcing for the three-year period, two senior officials said.
CEO Tim Cook is said to have discussed manufacturing and retailing of Apple products in India with PM Narendra Modi on a recent visit.
Cook told Apple’s India team during the trip that setting up company-owned stores is vital for Apple’s longterm plans since these would set benchmarks in sales and services.
In the FDI norms announced in November 2015, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) had announced a waiver of the sourcing condition for singlebrand retailers that introduce cutting edge technology.
The government had allowed 100% foreign direct investment in single brand retail in January 2012.