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Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a bite out of tradition, on maiden India visit

Global tech giant Apple Inc’s chief executive Tim Cook started off his maiden five-day visit to the country with a visit to the famous Siddhivinayak Temple in central Mumbai on Wednesday.

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a bite out of tradition, on maiden India visit
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Tim Cook visits the Siddhivinayak Temple, in Mumbai

Mumbai

Cook was seen with Anant Ambani, the son of RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, at the temple devoted to the deity of wisdom Lord Ganesha. 

Sources said the temple visit of Cook was unplanned and so was the chance of meeting junior Ambani. He arrived in the city late last night from Beijing and is staying at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel in the city. He was seen wearing a light blue shirt and a stole with Sanskrit scriptures, generally worn by Hindu devotees.

Indian spirituality is not really new to the American company known for cutting-edge scientific innovation. Its famed founder, the late Steve Jobs, had a fling with it over four decades ago, and some accounts say that he had also stayed at the commune of a Hindu ascetic at Haridwar during the trip. At Prabhadevi’s Siddhivinayak Temple, Cook was accompanied by Sanjay Kaul, the head of country operations for the tech giant, which witnessed its first quarter of dip in sales of its flagship iPhone. 

India, however, figures as a bright spot amid the slump and recorded a 56 per cent jump in sales here with the revenue crossing a USD 1-billion mark for the first time. While some media reports said he would be meeting Mukesh Ambani, a RIL spokesperson said the company chairman is away in the US. Cook is scheduled to meet top honchos of India Inc later during the day, including Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry, TCS Chief Executive N Chandrasekaran, Vodafone India head Sunil Sood and some start-up entrepreneurs. Cook may also meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He is also likely to dine with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan at the superstar’s sea-facing residence in Bandra.

Later, Cook will head off to Hyderabad, where Apple Inc’s development centre will be inaugurated on Thursday. State IT Department’s Secretary Jayesh Ranjan did not confirm if Apple CEO Tim Cook, will be present on the occasion.

He had earlier said executives of the California-based technology company that owns popular consumer electronic brands such as iPhone and iPad had already met state government officials, requesting their support for some of the clearances. “They have already identified space in a building owned by Tishman Speyer at Nanakramguda. We are also extending support to the company in terms of obtaining necessary approvals from various departments,” he had said. 

He, however, did not specify the amount of investment Apple is planning to make into the centre. He is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday before winding up his visit.

HIGH-PROFILE MEETINGS

  • Meetings with Vodafone CEO Sunil Sood and start-up executives to discuss the expansion of Apple and iOS. 
  • In Hyderabad, Cook will visit Apple’s new development center, the firm’s first development center outside the US. 
  • Meetings lined up with Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao and IT minister K Rama Rao. 
  • Plans for launch of an accelerator programme for startups. 
  • In Gurugram, Cook’s team will visit Apple’s corporate centre. 
  • Cook will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharti Airtel’s chairman Sunil Mittal.

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