Apple India's three top executives, including sales and distribution heads, quit

Apple Loses Key Sales Executives as India Strategy Stumbles

Apple is struggling to sell the iPhone in India, the world's third-biggest smartphone market, and has reportedly lost several important sales executives in the country. The three executives consist of Rahul Puri head of national sales and distribution, Jayant Gupta head of operator business and iPhone sales, and Manish Sharma who was the national sales head of telecom.

Bloomberg's sources indicated Apple has had problems making business relationships with local carriers, and that it had "had difficulties understanding the country, leaving the sales team direction-less".

But in India, one of the fastest-growing smartphone markets, Apple has a tougher time selling iPhone handsets.

Since some chassis and other components for older-generation iPhone devices can also be used for the production of next-generation iPhone products, these component suppliers are eyeing the planned launch of the new iPhones this fall to bring a sales boom that will effectively clear out their inventory, said the sources. So far in 2018, the company has moved "fewer than a million devices". Coulomb took the job at the end of a year ago. It cites research by Counterpoint which shows that the company now has a market share of two percent in India, sold only 3.2 million iPhones in 2017 and less than a million in the first half of 2018.

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The exits come at a time when Apple is betting heavily on the Indian market to drive growth.

Counterpoint's Research Director Neil Shah says that Apple's inattention to the Indian market could lead it to lose whatever small market share it has. "It's a Catch-22 situation for Apple in India".

"IPhone India sales were weak in the first half of 2018 and, even if they show a big jump in the traditionally strong second half, Apple will still fall short of past year", Neil Shah, a research director with Counterpoint, told Bloomberg. "It has not put great focus or investments into India because the market is so minuscule", Shah said.

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