Apple is hiring workers in India as it looks to open its first flagship stores

Apple is hiring workers in India as it looks to open its first flagship stores

Apple has begun hiring retail store workers in India and has posted plans to fill several other roles as it prepares to open its first flagship locations in the world’s second-largest smartphone market as soon as this quarter.

On Friday, Apple’s careers page listed vacancies for 12 different job titles seeking to fill “various locations within India,” including a technical specialist, business expert, senior manager, store lead, and “genius.”

Many job descriptions refer directly to major retail operations. “The Apple Store is a retail environment like no other — uniquely focused on delivering amazing customer experiences,” says one.

The 12 listings point to hundreds of vacancies, as a typical Apple Store has as few as 100 employees and major locations can have as many as 1,000 workers.

Some of the positions on Apple’s website, such as Market Leader, describe managing teams “across Apple Stores,” meaning several locations are in the works out of the widely reported 22,000-square-foot site slated to open. In Mumbai in early March.

Separately, at least five employees in Mumbai and New Delhi announced on LinkedIn their hiring for the stores, which have yet to be announced. One announced that he had been named a ‘Lead Genius’ – a customer-facing technical support role – while another said he had been appointed as a Senior Manager. Renu Sivanthi, Apple’s Head of Recruitment in India, “celebrated” several announcements on the social networking site.

Apple, which did not immediately comment, did not confirm its plans to open its first stores in the country. But in February 2020, CEO Tim Cook told investors that the Apple Store would expand to India the following year, saying he was unhappy about leaving retail sales to franchise partners. “I don’t want someone else to run the brand for us,” Cook said at the 2020 annual shareholder meeting.

Later that year, Apple launched its online store for India, welcoming online shoppers with “Namaste”, but physical stores failed to show up.

The expansion will be important for Apple as it tries to diversify manufacturing from China and give impetus to its nascent production operations in India. Supply chain experts say Apple has a “silicon in front” ambition to control all aspects of the customer experience — from the chips Apple designed in its phones to the retail staff at the Apple Store.

“The stars are finally aligning with Apple in India,” said Neil Shah, an analyst with Counterpoint, a market intelligence group.

Cook personally visited and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015, and reportedly pressed to open an Apple Store in the country. But protectionist rules require foreign companies that sell goods directly to consumers to source 30 percent of the ingredients domestically.

However, the rules have been relaxed in recent years, and in 2017 Apple suppliers began assembling iPhones in India. This allowed it to avoid the 22 percent tariff, which helped boost sales. Since then, New Delhi has offered incentives to smartphone makers to shift more production to the country, prompting significant investment from Taiwanese contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron.

India’s Tata Group, which makes cases for iPhones in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, plans to expand its operations to supply a broader range of components to Apple, according to three people familiar with its plans, which the Indian industrial group has not purchased. comment.

Last year, about 200 million smartphones were manufactured in India, ten times the number compiled in 2014, according to Counterpoint. And while Apple’s market share in India is only 5 percent, it’s growing rapidly and leads the premium segment with two-fifths of all sales.

“Since the pandemic, the number of iPhones sold in India has almost doubled,” Shah said. “This has increased sales of Macs, Apple Watches, and iPads. There is a positive network effect. So Apple has noticed this fast-growing market, and now is the time to get in and invest.”

By the end of this year, Shah said, Apple India is expected to have a four-tiered sales strategy.

This will include e-commerce sales, at least two flagship stores in its most affluent cities, and another 10 or more stores in potential partnership with Tata, in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, as well as growing ‘store-within-a-store’ partnerships with large retailers across the country. .

Additional reporting by John Reed in New Delhi

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