The Cupertino tech giant Apple today announced that Nokia veteran Ashish Chowdhary is joining the company as Country Head India. He will be overseeing the sales of Apple in the country. His stint at Apple will begin in January 2019, as he will stay at Nokia until the end of 2018.
At Nokia, Ashish Chowdhary was a part of the leadership team, and his most recent position was Chief Customer Operations Officer (CCOO). He joined the company at the end of 2003 and was involved in various management roles there. Prior to the CCOO position, Ashish Chowdhary has worked at different positions like the Head of Asia Middle East and Africa, Head of Global Services Business Unit, which both contributed almost half of revenues of Nokia at the time.
With over 25 years of experience in Enterprise and Telecom sectors, the appointment of Ashish Chowdhary as the Apple India head suggests that Apple is continuing its efforts to mark its presence in India. In the most recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook remarked that the company has a 'long term focus' on the Indian market. The appointment of a veteran like Mr. Chowdhary with experience in the Indian market might help Apple improve its standing in the country.
Tim Cook had also remarked that Apple is under pressure to do well in India due to the weakening currency. It is worth noting that the Indian Rupee has depreciated by almost 15% in 2018 against the US Dollar due to various factors like rising crude oil prices, the ongoing trade war between the USA and China, amongst other things. While these factors are out of control of the Indian government, the weakening currency is affecting prices of goods across categories, leading to companies like Apple, Xiaomi and others announcing price hikes.
It will be interesting to see if bringing a Nokia veteran will help improve Apple's fortunes in India.