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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Meet the man behind iDestiny, a new destination to buy dazzling Apple products

For Apple, India remains a favourite. In fact, earlier this year, market tracker Counterpoint Research said that the iPhone maker was the largest smartphone brand by revenue in India in 2023 for the first time ever

Mathures Paul Published 12.04.24, 07:58 AM
Inside the spacious iDestiny store on Syed Amir Ali Avenue in Calcutta

Inside the spacious iDestiny store on Syed Amir Ali Avenue in Calcutta Pictures: Rashbehari Das

It has been 17 years since the iPhone was introduced to the world, yet it remains a product that attracts long queues with every new series, year after year. For Apple, India remains a favourite. In fact, earlier this year, market tracker Counterpoint Research said that the iPhone maker was the largest smartphone brand by revenue in India in 2023 for the first time ever.

What does all that mean? The next time you are near the seven-point crossing in Park Circus, don’t be surprised to see a crowd near a store that you just cannot miss. Called iDestiny, it’s the Apple Premium Partner Store format that Calcutta has been waiting for. The format is hard to come by in India — unless you are in Bangalore or Chennai… for that matter, there are not many shops in this format globally. Spread across 4,000sqft over two floors, it’s spacious enough to have all kinds of displays and demos of every Apple product.

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MacBooks are always in demand and you can pick up the latest one here

MacBooks are always in demand and you can pick up the latest one here

Sure Apple opened its own retail stores in Mumbai and Delhi last year but iDestiny will have everything Apple comes up with and that too on the day products are launched globally.

“The size allows us to give customers an experience of almost 100 demos. I think one of the biggest issues for a customer is colour selection. For example, what will the green iPhone look like? Yes, you have the box from which you get an understanding of the shade. But there is a difference when you see the phone in person and hold it,” said Vijay Dugar, the man behind iDestiny at 9/1 Syed Amir Ali Avenue.

Be it the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Mac Studio, HomePod, AirPods, Apple Watch or Apple TV, you get all of that here. “Take the example of the Mac Studio Display monitor. It’s something you can see at a Premium Partner Store or a direct Apple Store. You can get it here. It’s a high-end display that costs around Rs 1.6 lakh that you can check out here. You can see the benefits of such a high-end display. Similarly, you can try a Mac Studio in action, which is not there everywhere. Being a large store, we can showcase Apple products in all its glory. All the iPhone 15 colours are on display. Besides getting a regular demo, you can get a feel of what you are planning to purchase,” said Dugar, director, iDestiny.

Trained staff

The planning of the store has been on for a long time. Dugar tells us that it took around 18 months to execute the store since first proposing it but now that he knows the formula, it will take nine to 12 months to open another one, even though he doesn’t have anything this big in his plans at the moment.

The latest iPhones as well as those from previous generations are available at the store

The latest iPhones as well as those from previous generations are available at the store

“It’s not just about buying an Apple product. People are very interested in the service aspect. There are a lot of same-day services as well. If somebody walks in with a broken screen, we can get it repaired the same day, within a few hours. Have a coffee and come back. Or take the case of the battery; we will take care of it in a few hours,” said the 43-year-old man leading the charge at iDestiny.

Be it the iPad and its Pro versions, a large range of Apple Watch or even smart speakers like the HomePod and HomePod Mini, it’s a well-stocked store. “In case somebody wants to buy AirPods Pro, go for a demo. The setup has been made keeping hygiene in mind. After every demo, we change the ear tips.”

There is a great interest in accessories for Apple products

There is a great interest in accessories for Apple products

Of course, accessories play an important role while shopping for Apple products. People are constantly looking for original Apple phone covers, keyboards and trackpads. Everything is available here. In fact, you can even try a few high-end speakers before making a choice, like the ones from Bose and Marshall.

“Our teams are trained to offer the best experience. To give you a world-class experience, the lights and tiles are from Europe. It’s a mammoth exercise,” he said. In case you visit the Apple Store in Mumbai, you will notice that there are no wires running up the sides of the tables… everything is concealed. It’s a similar design philosophy here.

“India is a focus country for Apple and whenever a product launches, we will have it here,” said Dugar. The iPhone 13, 14 and 15 are in circulation, so expect them to find those here without any hassle. Equally hassle-free is the availability of different finance schemes for customers.

Apple is trying to improve its presence in India in a big way. According to Bloomberg News, Apple has assembled $14b worth of iPhones in India in fiscal 2024. It said that the company now makes as much as 14 per cent or about one in seven of its marquee devices from India. Foxconn assembled nearly 67 per cent while Pegatron Corp made about 17 per cent of the India-made iPhones. The rest are made by Wistron Corp’s Karnataka plant which the Tata Group took over last year.

Vijay Dugar, director, iDestiny

Vijay Dugar, director, iDestiny

For anyone who likes Apple products or loves tech, iDestiny has set itself up as a gift to Calcutta this Nava Varsha.


Mathures Paul

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