Apple CEO Tim Cook is in India, and has been busy at work, launching the company’s first Indian stores in Mumbai and Delhi. Cook had been present at both store openings welcoming the first customers, and has posed for shutterbugs and fans. But behind the scenes, the Apple CEO has not only met some of the biggest power-dealers in India, but has also met with some everyday Apple customers. Here are some of the most important — and interesting — people that Tim Cook has met on his India trip.
1.Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani
Before Tim Cook had even inaugurated India’s first Apple store in Mumbai, he met Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani. Cook visited the Ambani residence, Antilla, for the meeting. Also present at the interaction were Mukesh Ambani’s children, Reliance Jio chairman Akash Ambani and Reliance Retail Director Isha Ambani. The trio are believed to have discussed Apple’s partnerships with Jio’s mobile phone services, while also talking about partnerships with Reliance Retail.
2. Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran
Cook also met Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran in Mumbai. Cook reportedly discussed Apple’s growing relationship with the Tata Group — Tata is already in talks with Apple to open 100 Apple stores in India, and has also approached Apple’s manufacturing partner Wistron for a partnership. Tata is already making aluminum casings and other components for Apple’s component supply chain.
3. Madhuri Dixit
Cook took time out to eat a Vada Pav with Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit. The photo immediately made headlines, and also spawned hundreds of jokes and memes.
4. India’s top badminton players
Indian badminton players have made quite a splash in recent years, winning World Series titles and Olympic medals. Cook met Indian badminton stars Pulella Gopichand, Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi, Chirag Shetty, and Parupalli Kashyap. “We served, smashed, and talked about how Apple Watch helps them train!” he tweeted.
5. Founders of Kiddopia app
Cook also took time out to meet the founders of ed-tech app Kiddopia, which creates content for young children. “I really enjoyed seeing the many ways that Kiddopia is helping preschoolers learn! The vibrant developer community here in India is making such an impact on the world!” he said.
6. Musician Maalvika Manoj
Cook met with indie singer-songwriter Maalvika Manoj, also known as Mali. “Thank you to the enormously talented @Malimanojmusic for showing me all the ways you’re using Apple products to create music—from songwriting with iPhone to developing unique beats on MacBook Pro,” he tweeted.
7. Students From Indian School of Design and Innovation
“The Indian School of Design & Innovation is helping the next generation of creatives unlock their full potential. Thanks for sharing how you create those amazing designs using iPad!” Cook said.
8. Street artists St+art India
“Delhi’s Lodhi Art District is a remarkable public space. Congratulations to the St+art India Foundation and so many amazing artists for capturing Indian life so powerfully. And thank you to Dattaraj Naik for showing me how you design your murals on iPad,” Cook said.
9. Children from Akanksha Foundation School
“I met the most incredible group of students and teachers at an Akanksha Foundation school, where children that might not have otherwise had the opportunity are given the chance to reach for their dreams. These students embody perseverance and hope! We’re proud to support them,” Cook said.
10. National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy
“I could’ve spent the whole day at the National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy. From ancient and vibrant textiles to impossibly intricate wood carvings, it displayed India’s deep—and deeply beautiful— culture of craft. Thanks Sarah Sham and Ruchika Sachdeva for showing me around,” Cook said.
11. Minister of Communications, Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw
Apple has had to deal with some thorny issues around FDI in India. For the longest time, it will unable to open stores in the country because it didn’t comply with India’s FDI rules. The company then set up more of its manufacturing in India and the govt relaxed some norms, which paved the way for India’s own Apple stores. Cook met with India’s Communications and Electronics Minister Ashwini Vasihnaw. “Met with Tim Cook, CEO, Apple. Discussed deepening Apple’s engagement in India across manufacturing, electronics exports, app economy, skilling and sustainability,” Vaishnaw said.
12. Electronics and Technology Minister Rajeev Chandrasekar
India has been proactive around building its own data privacy laws, and Apple too has been advocating user privacy for a while. Tim Cook met with Rajeev Chandrasekar, Inida’s Minister for Electronics and Technology. “We discussed deepening and broadening manufacturing, exports, skilling of youth, expanding app n innovation economy and job creation,” Chandrasekar said.
13. PM Narendra Modi
And Tim Cook finished off his visit with a meeting with PM Narendra Modi. Modi and Cook have met in the past, and the two share a rapport, with Cook having even wished PM Modi on his birthday on Twitter. “Thank you Prime Minister @narendramodi for the warm welcome. We share your vision of the positive impact technology can make on India’s future — from education and developers to manufacturing and the environment, we’re committed to growing and investing across the country,” Cook said after this visit.
This is quite a list of meetings spread over a few days — Cook managed to meet India’s Prime Minister, its Communications Minister, its Electronics Minister, sports stars, film stars, and even people who were using Apple products in their daily life. It’s perhaps to be expected — Apple is the world’s most valuable company, and India is now the world’s most populous country. And Cook’s 360 degree visit likely signals just how big a part of Apple’s plans India is likely to become in the coming years.