Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella follows Apple’s Tim Cook to India

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is visiting India, reflecting the growing importance of the country as a market for multinational technology companies.

Nadella’s visit follows the first visit to India by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who visited the country this month to drum up support for the company’s plans to offer refurbished iPhones in the price-sensitive market as well as to get permission to set up its wholly-owned stores in the country. Both deals appear to have been blocked by regulators, according to reports.

While Apple was largely seen as lacking focus on India until recently, when its China revenue fell 11 percent, while iPhone sales in India grew 56 percent year-on-year in the last quarter, Microsoft has been a long-time player in the Indian market.

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Apple will launch its first-ever ‘accelerator’ for iOS developers in India next year


We reported yesterday that Tim Cook was scheduled to visit India this week. The Apple CEO has now touched down in the financial capital of Mumbai today amidst big news for the company. Apple has announced that it will open what it’s calling a Design and Development Accelerator, to assist developers working on its various platforms (Mac OS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS) in Bangalore, the country’s IT hub, by early 2017. The company described its forthcoming initiative in a press release: Apple’s team will work to inspire and instruct developers on best practices, help them hone their skills and transform…

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Top Execs at Amazon and Line’s India Businesses Are Quitting

india-tech

India is front and centre for most tech companies right now due to its powerhouse economy, expected to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market behind China by 2020, and it’s absurdly huge population — and like China, it’s hard for outsiders to really grasp just how big this place is.

That’s why eyebrows are being raised over the weekend at news that top execs from two major foreign tech giants with big investments in India have been quitting.

Amazon India’s lifestyle and fashion head, Vikas Purohit, has “moved on for personal reasons,” the company told The Economic Times in a statement. Meanwhile, two top execs at Line, Japan’s hugely popular mobile messaging app that has been trying to push into emerging markets, have quit the India business to do their own startup.

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In a statement given to the Times, Line’s business head for India, Damandeep Singh, said, “Over the past couple of years, Rajat and I got a chance to see a lot of business models explode on the mobile front in the Japanese and Korean market. No one monetises mobile like the way it happens in Japan.”

“We identified some unique opportunities that can be beneficial to the Indian market, with a bit of a desi touch, and there exists a gap in the market right now on content consumption. So we tried to address that in our new business,” he added. Without saying what specifically that new business is, all we know right now is that it will be a “content-based app.”

We have reached out to Line for further comment. Amazon India has still not replied to our request for comment.

As to Amazon’s statement, it was more vague and corporate: “Vikas Purohit has moved on from Amazon.in for personal reasons. [He] built a strong fashion business for Amazon.in from scratch. Since the launch of the fashion category in September 2013, the fashion store has emerged as one of the top three stores on Amazon.in, both in terms of volume and value.”

Amazon India’s vice president of global vendor management, Susan Saideman, is expected to take over the fashion business until the company can “identify a new leader.” It will want to do so quickly: it’s facing increased competition from local rivals on a number of fronts.

The truth is that Purohit’s resignation will sting — he was considered “one of the four pillars of Amazon India,” with fashion and lifestyle “one of the best possible growth engines for ecommerce companies in India,” according to the newspaper.

As for Line, the company is known to be eying opportunities in emerging markets like India. Last month, it rolled out a “Lite” version of its mobile messaging app that is less data-heavy for users on cheaper price plans, and updated its Android app with a new focus on low-cost calling. But it’s still facing uncertain times as it yet again delayed an IPO due to poor market conditions.

In any case, India is a market that waits for no one. Both companies will want to sort out their top ranks quickly, and do their best to keep them in going forward.

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