Apple CEO Tim Cook In Delhi On 2nd Leg Of India Visit; Tours Crafts Museum, Lodhi Art District

The new stores come at a time when Apple is trying to deepen its retail push in India, the world's second largest smartphone market
Apple CEO Tim Cook In Delhi On 2nd Leg Of India Visit; Tours Crafts Museum, Lodhi Art District

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on the second leg of his India visit arrived in Delhi, where he went around the crafts museum and the famous Lodhi Art district on Wednesday ahead of opening the company's second official retail store in the country and meeting political bigwigs including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Cook, who began his India visit on April 17, met badminton greats including Gopichand and Saina Nehwal, visited Akanksha Foundation school that teaches children from low-income communities, and toured the Indian School of Design & Innovation in Mumbai after the launch of Apple's first retail store in the city.

This is his first trip to India in seven years, the last being in 2016 when the tech giant was just beginning to scale up operations in the country. Apple has long wanted physical retail stores in India. Its original plans for 2021 were derailed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

After opening the first official store in Mumbai, Cook arrived in the national capital on the second leg of the visit on Wednesday. Ahead of the opening of the Apple store at Saket, he visited the mesmerising artistic lanes of Lodhi Art District. "Delhi's Lodhi Art District is a remarkable public space. Congratulations to the St+art India Foundation and so many amazing artists for capturing Indian life so powerfully. And thank you to Dattaraj Naik for showing me how you design your murals on iPad," 62-year-old Cook tweeted.

The walls of buildings lined up in the entire area don beautiful murals that the city is famous for. Cook, who had started the India visit by having Mumbai's famous vada pav with Bollywood queen Madhuri Dixit, then visited the National Crafts Museum and Hastkala Academy. "I could've spent the whole day at the National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy. From ancient and vibrant textiles to impossibly intricate wood carvings, it displayed India's deep—and deeply beautiful— culture of craft. Thanks Sarah Sham and Ruchika Sachdeva for showing me around!" he tweeted with pictures of the museum.

After throwing open the gates of Apple's first store, Cook on Tuesday stepped out for a tour of Mumbai, starting with a one-on-one with some of the biggest badminton players in the country. "Great meeting Coach Gopichand and badminton champions Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi, Chirag Shetty, and Parupalli Kashyap, who have played a part in putting badminton on the map for India. We served, smashed, and talked about how Apple Watch helps them train!," he had said after that meeting.

The tech giant company co-founded by Steve Jobs completes more than 25 years in India this week. From sports to music. He met Indian classical singer and software engineer, Sandeep Ranade. "I really enjoyed seeing the many ways that Kiddopia is helping preschoolers learn! And Sandeep Ranade from Naadsadhana gave such a moving performance of the song Mile Sur Mera Tumhara. The vibrant developer community here in India is making such an impact on the world!," he had tweeted.

That was followed by a visit to the Akanksha Foundation school. "I met the most incredible group of students and teachers at an Akanksha Foundation school, where children that might not have otherwise had the opportunity are given the chance to reach for their dreams. These students embody perseverance and hope! We're proud to support them," he had said.

Cook will attend the opening of a second store in the capital Delhi on Thursday. The new stores come at a time when Apple is trying to deepen its retail push in India, the world's second largest smartphone market. India is also home to factories that produce 5 per cent of total iPhones as Apple diversifies its supply chains away from China.

The iPhone is still an aspirational product in the price-sensitive Indian market, where more than 95 per cent of smartphones run on Google's Android platform. Cook is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as other ministers including Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, and deputy IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar as part of his visit.

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