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Tim Cook

Apple’s $3 trillion journey wouldn’t have been possible without India’s creative community

Creative people make my heart sing because what we are is a toolmaker

Mathures Paul | Published 03.07.23, 06:06 AM
Apple CEO at the opening of the company’s first retail store in India on April 18 — Apple BKC

Apple CEO at the opening of the company’s first retail store in India on April 18 — Apple BKC

Picture: The Telegraph

You may have heard of these companies — General Motors, AT&T, Exxon Mobil…. these pale into nothingness when Apple’s latest corporate success is considered — becoming the first publicly traded company to close a trading day with a $3 trillion market value. You have already heard this news.

What makes it special are four reasons. First, the company surged above a $3 trillion market capitalisation in January 2022 during intraday trading but this time it closed above the mark. Second, some analysts are saying that Apple’s success at gaining shares from Android phones even when there is a macro slowdown means there is a chance that the surge continues to the point of 30 per cent of current levels. Third, since the day Apple started making its own silicon, there has been no looking back and the company doesn’t have to depend on a partner like Intel for its growth. Fourth, Apple’s retail dream in India is becoming the icing on the cake.


Apple always wanted to have its own retail presence in India and plans have gone back and forth, then came the pandemic. Tim Cook and his team didn’t give up. They first opened the online store in September 2020 and then on April 18 this year, opened the first offline retail store in Saket, Mumbai, followed by Apple BKC in Delhi. Both shops made more than a fine start. Samsung too is expanding its chain of physical stores where all the flagship products are on display but what makes an Apple store different is the aspirational value the brand commands.

When we met Tim Cook on a few occasions a couple of months ago, he spoke about how Apple has been a toolmaker for content creators.

India’s digital revolution has sparked a creative awakening amongst the youth. Ninety-five per cent Gen Z see creativity as essential to their future with 94 per cent enrollment in design majors (Adobe India Study, Ministry of Education).

The creative community is alive in India

Not so long ago, the creative realms were the reserve of the privileged few, from Bollywood families and the established music industry. However, the cultural landscape in India is changing dramatically. These barriers and obstacles are being brought down by the rise of social media and OTT platforms.

Now, there’s a whole new realm of young creators who are YouTubers, film-makers, photographers, bloggers, VFX artists, designers, and chefs amongst others, who believe there’s an opportunity to be successful and challenge the assumption of the “privileged” creative few. Today, there are more than a million Indian creators on YouTube, of whom 200K creators who have more than 100K subscribers across entertainment, lifestyle and learning.

He met many of these creators over a few days and told us: “They make my heart sing because what we are is a toolmaker. To see fashion being designed, to see sustainable bicycles being made, to see creative graphics… it’s just amazing. It wasn’t too many years ago when you would kind of (get) pushed into a career path of an engineer, or a doctor maybe. And now it’s so great that there’s a creative community that’s blossoming out there. It’s quite alive in India.”

In March, Bloomberg reported that Apple was reshuffling management of its international businesses to put a bigger focus on India. The production of Apple devices in India is on the rise.

Also, the milestone is being achieved weeks after the announcement of the first new Apple product in years — Vision Pro, which will facilitate spatial computing. Coming early next year in the US, it will then roll out in other markets.

But much of Apple’s current resilience lies with the power of the iPhone, which was introduced in 2007. According to reports, it still accounts for around half of its annual sales.

The other company that’s on a similar trajectory is Microsoft, which hit the $2 trillion mark in 2021, a year after Apple. Microsoft’s stock is up more than 40 per cent this year and it’s riding high on its partnership with OpenAI, whose ChatGPT software has become one of the most talked about technologies in recent years.

What’s next? We are looking forward to the next set of iPhone, which usually launches in September. And… more Apple retail stores in India.

File picture of Tim Cook and Steve Jobs

File picture of Tim Cook and Steve Jobs

Last updated on 03.07.23, 06:06 AM

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