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Nokia veteran Ashish Chowdhary to lead Apple India

Ashish Chowdhary will take over from Michel Coulomb, the current Apple India head, in January 2019

SNS Web | New Delhi |

Days after Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that the company’s growth was down in India amid weak currency trends, Apple India has got a new operations head. In a high-profile appointment, Ashish Chowdhary is coming to Apple from Nokia, where he was the Chief Customer Operations Officer.

According to media reports, Chowdhary will assume his new role as Apple India head from January 2019. He has 25 years of experience in the enterprise and telecom sectors globally.

Chowdhary will take over from Michel Coulomb who is currently overseeing the India operations. Coulomb took over in December 2017 after the previous India operations head Sanjay Kaul quit Apple India.

Chowdhary’s appointment comes at a time when the Government of India is evaluating its proposal from Apple to set up a manufacturing unit. The company has also sought tax relief and other incentives to start assembling more handsets.

At present, Apple is assembling iPhone 6S in India working with its partner Wistron. The iPhone company is said to have nearly 450 million users in the Indian market.

Meanwhile, Nokia announced on Tuesday Ashish Chowdhary would leave Nokia at the end of 2018 “after 15 successful years”.

“Chowdhary will continue to lead Customer Operations and remain a member of the Nokia Group Leadership Team until the end of 2018. He will then leave Nokia to take a leadership position in another company,” Nokia said in a statement.

Announcing this and a few other changes in the composition of the Nokia Group Leadership Team, Nokia President and Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri said: “The decision to leave Nokia was his alone, but he goes with my full support. Ashish has been a close friend, confidant and business partner for many years. He is a person with deep integrity, far-reaching insight, strong leadership skills and a work ethic like few others. I am pleased that he will be joining one of the world’s great companies in a prominent role, and I wish him every success.”

At Nokia, Chowdhary was was responsible for its sales and operations globally. Having joined the Finnish company in 2003, Chowdhary has held various leadership positions, including Head of Asia Middle East and Africa and Head of Global Services Business Unit.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had in a recent earnings call said he was a big believer in the Indian middle class, and that his company had a “long term focus on the market” in India.

“We’ve had really great productive discussions with the Indian government, and I fully expect that at some point, they will agree to allow us to bring our stores into the country,” Cook had said during the analysts’ call.