Good news for Indians; Apple will build its first technology development centre outside the US in Hyderabad with an investment of $25 million (Rs 170 crore), likely employing about 4,500 people, a senior Telangana state government official said.
Apple’s centre will occupy 250,000 square feet in Tishman Speyer’s WaveRock facility in the city’s IT corridor and is set to start in the latter half of this year.
“This is correct. MoU will be signed after some approvals,” Jayesh Ranjan, IT secretary of Telangana, told ET while confirming the details of Apple’s investment. “They’re (Apple) waiting for the SEZ approval (for the area) to come, which is expected to be given in a couple of days.”
Apple, based in Cupertino, California, did not respond to queries seeking confirmation. The company has been in talks with real estate firm Tishman Speyer for a long-term lease of about 250,000 sqft, ET reported last month, citing people familiar with the matter.
The rising importance of India as a market for Apple marks a sea change from a couple of years ago.
The government has eased foreign investment rules for single-brand retailing and relaxed local procurement conditions for high-tech companies. At present, Apple sells iPhones, iPads, Macs and other products through third-party resellers.
India is the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market, having surpassed the US in 2015, making a strong case for Apple to set up stores in the country and reap the benefits of a large software development resource pool.
The South Asian nation is becoming an important market for Apple, where its iPhones have immense brand recall and massive aspirational value, especially among the youth. Apple CEO Tim Cook recognized the growth potential in the country after the company’s India revenue growth surpassed that of developed markets.