While Apple Inc. continues its struggle to beat single-digit market share in India, the company lost three crucial senior executives in the country in recent weeks. These three executives include Rahul Puri, Head of National Sales and Distribution; Jayant Gupta, Head of Operator Business and iPhone Sales and Manish Sharma, National Sales Head of Telecom.
All of the departed senior officials were a critical part of the growth strategy of the US-based tech giant and were responsible for stimulating iPhone sales in India. Now, the company is expected to make further changes in the management, especially in the mid-levels.
Lately, Apple has been struggling to increase sales numbers in India. In fact, in the first quarter of the financial year 2018-19, it has moved fewer than a million devices in the country. Reportedly, these numbers are lower than the previous year. In 2017, Apple has managed to sell about 3.2 Mn iPhones.
As per Neil Shah, a research director with Counterpoint "iPhone India sales were weak in the first half of 2018 and, even if they show a big jump in the traditionally strong second half, Apple will still fall short of last year."
While the Apple brand is popular in other markets like Japan, in India, it still struggles to compete with companies like Samsung and Xiaomi. Currently, it has a market share of only about 2 percent in India.
Apple faces a lot of challenges in boosting sales primarily because of reasons like availability of cheaper alternatives. The other problem that has been identified is that the company resorts to marketing iPhones that are a few generations old and doesn’t manufacture its latest models domestically, thereby incurring import levies. Further, to add on to its problems, Apple has also faced difficulties in understanding the market of India.
According to the report, even recently appointed Michel Coulomb, Managing Director India, Apple has been slow to cultivate business relationships in the market.
Moving on and ahead from its failures, Apple would now be looking to rework on its sales strategy and hence, will also be making certain structural changes in the leadership roles. As per report, the new Director, Michel plans on only retaining two national distributors, consisting of Ingram Micro and Redington, out of the five Apple already has. Also, the services of the three other distributors, Brightstar, Rashi Peripherals and HCL Infosystems are said to be discontinued by March next year.
Image source: Youth Incorporated Magazine