The Economic Times reports that Apple executives in India recently hosted executives from top retailers in the country and laid out plans to open store-in-store locations and 100 standalone stores in smaller Indian markets:
The new marketing vision for India was unveiled on Monday evening at a meeting with 20 CEOs and senior executives of the country’s top multi-brand telecom and electronic retail chains. Apple India’s senior executives spelt out plans to enter the top 50 tier II and III markets in India by selling its phones, tablets and portable music players at their outlets in an exclusive corner or a shop-in-shop, said three people who attended the meeting. They requested anonymity since Apple officials had asked them to keep details of the meeting confidential.
Apple wants to set up 100 exclusive standalone stores under the franchisee model in smaller markets. It’s scouting for franchise partners and has made proposals to some of the multi-brand retail chains, the executives said. Apple has not set any deadline for setting up these stores in smaller towns in India, but is looking to roll them out this fiscal year.
The meeting was held by Apple India execs Maneesh Dhir and Sanjay Kaul, who joined Apple from AOL and BlackBerry around three years ago and, according to the report, have “expanded the team threefold to more than 150 executives, strengthened the Apple exclusive stores network, shortened the gap between the launch of new models overseas and in India and spearheaded the company’s thrust on iPhones.”
While Apple does not yet have official Apple Stores in India, there have been recent signs the company is looking to grow in the country in an attempt to keep up with Samsung and other competitors. Today’s report is unclear if the 100 “standalone” stores would be in addition to store-in-store locations and makes no mention of official Apple Stores coming to the country.
Back in February Apple kicked off increased distribution, marketing and new installment plans in an aggressive iPhone push through its partners, and in March The Economic Times reported that Apple planned on tripling the number of Apple franchise stores in India from 65 to 200 by the end of 2015.