Apple, Tim Cook, India, iPhone
Apple's CEO Tim Cook during the launch of its retail store in India in April this year. (File photo)

Tim Cook opens gates to India's first Apple store at Mumbai BKC, greets customers

Iconic tech giant Apple’s first retail store in the country became operational on Tuesday (April 18) with chief executive Tim Cook opening its doors for customers.

Excitement levels were already very high over the last fortnight since Cupertino-based company announced its store opening at a mall in the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.

Amid loud cheering by the 100-odd staff members and others, Cook emerged from inside the shop to open the doors and personally welcomed guests. The launch of the store in Mumbai will be followed by another one in New Delhi’s Saket on Thursday.

Prior to it, scores of Apple fans gathered from early on Tuesday outside the shop in Mumbai, hoping to be among the lucky few to enter the tech giant’s first retail store in India.

“The vibe here is just different,” said 23-year old Aan Shah, who travelled all the way from the Ahmedabad to attend the launch. “It’s not like buying from some normal store. There’s just no comparison. It’s so exciting.” His love for Apple earlier took him to store openings in New York and Boston, where he once got a chance to meet Cook.

Interestingly, a lot many people came from different parts of the country to catch a glimpse of Chief Executive Tim Cook, who inaugurated the 28,000-sq-foot (2,600-sq-m) store.

Cook landed in Mumbai on Monday. He was spotted sampling vada pav, the city’s favourite snack, in the august company of actress Madhuri Dixit at Swati Snacks, a local eatery with two outlets in Mumbai. Madhuri tweeted a photo of herself and Tim Cook, each with vada pav in hand and a table full of plates. “Can’t think of a better welcome to Mumbai than Vada Pav,” Madhuri Dixit tweeted. “Thanks for introducing me to my first Vada Pav – it was delicious,” replied Tim Cook.

Cook also had a meeting with Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Jio chairman Akash Ambani and Reliance Retail director Isha Ambani at their residence Antilia. He also met Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran. He is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw in New Delhi on Wednesday. Cook last came to India in 2016 when Apple was just beginning to scale up operations in the country.

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