Apple has named Michel Coulomb as its new India Head, replacing Sanjay Kaul, who quit the company abruptly over weak sales growth of its flagship iPhone in the country. Coulomb, a veteran at Apple for over 15 years, has relocated from Singapore to India, which Apple CEO Tim Cook has pegged as the next big market that is similar to what China was over a decade ago. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the development. Over the last two years, Apple has been aggressive on winning in India. It has expanded its distributors, is looking to setup Apple stores in the country and even assembling its previous generation iPhone SE locally to tap consumers to experience its famed ecosystem at lower price points. Yet, the pace of growth has been slow. In the financial year 2017.
Apple’s India revenues grew 17 per cent to Rs 11,619 crore, regulatory filings show.Apple has around 3 per cent share in volumes in India’s smartphone market, which is dominated by Google’s Android phones. It faces competition from entrenched players such as Chinese Xiaomi and Samsung, who dominate the market with smartphones at lower price points and features similar to that of Apple. Coulomb now has a task of growing sales to keep up the promise of India being the next big market. A veteran, who led sales in West Asia and France, he has to expand the product reach to customers and also tap more consumers who buy mid-range phones and upgrade into the Apple ecosystem. In November, Apple said that the company’s revenues from India doubled on year in the September quarter, which analysts had attributed to higher sales of the iPhone on e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm. “Revenue from emerging markets outside of greater China was up 40%, with great momentum in India, where revenue doubled year after year,” Tim Cook said in a call with analysts, while not breaking out the revenue figures for the country. Michel Coulomb He also said that sales of iPad tablets and Mac computers by enterprise and educational customers in India grew by double digits, while iPad sales on a whole were up by 39 per cent. The iPhone continues to dominate in terms of earnings here, but increasing sales of other Apple devices points to a trickle effect where customers buy into the whole ecosystem. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple’s revenues grew by 142 per cent year-on-year during the quarter that ended September. Sales of the iPhone surged due to heavy discounts being offered by e-commerce players on the device during their annual festive sales that kicked off at the end of the quarter.