Apple, the Cupertino-, California-based electronics giant, has reportedly promoted Sanjay Kaul as the new India head, four months after the former country head for Apple, Maneesh Dhir resigned.
The executive reshuffle is not new to Apple. It saw two resignations in January this year in Maneesh Dhir and Sharad Mehrotra, both of whom quit to pursue other opportunities. Sharad Mehrotra reportedly quit to start his own smartphone company Hyve Mobility.
Kaul joined Apple in 2011 as head of iPhone business in India. From heading iPhone business to Director, Telecom, he has now taken over the role of Country head from Manish Dhir. Prior to joining Apple, he headed BlackBerry's channel sales division. Kaul’s appointment comes at a time when the firm is aggressively looking to expand in the country. Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is placing higher emphasis on emerging markets such as India where it expects “disproportionate growth” versus the more developed areas. “India is where China was maybe 10 years ago from that point of view, and I think there’s a really great opportunity there,” he had said.
Separately, Kaul’s appointment also comes at a time when the electronics giant is planning to open brand-owned stores in India. The company’s plans to serve the low- to mid-range smartphone market in India with refurbished devices have hit a roadblock after the government denied approval.
India has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets for Apple, with the company notching up over $1-billion sales revenue in 2015. Its sales grew 76 per cent during the quarter ended December 2015 even with the total iPhone shipments in the country reaching 74.8 million, as its global sales growth slowed to 0.4 per cent.