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Apple and Indian engineers

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Bangalore, India 28/7/2014

According to a report released earlier today by the US based HfS Research, Indian software engineers are increasingly becoming a very important factor in Apple\s success. In fact, the report goes on to say that as many as 33% of Apple\s engineers are from India, working at various branches of the giant technology company, such as enterprise software, hardware, service and support. Indian IT workers are today an integral part of the giant American technology company, which has a market valuation of $585 billion and sales of $171 billion.

Pareekh Jain, who is a principal analyst at HfS Research, says,”About one-third of Apple\s engineering headcount consists of Indians who are either on H-1B or on Green Card.” Apple had filed 1,750 H-1B applications during the entire 10-year period 2001 to 2010, but over the last 3 years, this number was much bigger, amouting to 2,800, which represents a big increase. All the data was compiled by HfS Research. According to the research organization, the majority of the H-1Bs are Indians, which show\s Apple\s increasing dependence on Indian engineers, which has only increased significantly over the past few years.

The conclusions derived by HfS are based on figures disclosed by Apple itself in 2012. Apple said that it had 47,000 employees working in the US, including 7,700 customer support operators, 27,350 retail workers in Apple Stores, and as many as 12,000 engineers, marketers, designers and other sophisticated technology workers. It was also revealed by Hfs that Apple had five Indian IT vendors working for it, including four very large Indian companies. While there is no official confirmation of the big Indian software firms working for Apple, it is believed that Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro are among the most important.

As Mr. Jain says, “Apple\s outsourcing strategy can be described in three words as \outsourcing for growth\. The scope of outsourcing work has been enlarged in the last two or three years. From 2013, Apple has dedicated IT outsourcing vendor managers based out of Bangalore who are acting as the bridge between Apple\s IT managers and India based IT vendors.”
The HfS research analyst added that, “The other aspect of Apple\s outsourcing strategy is multi-sourcing, with each IT vendor having some strong focus in areas like channels, CRM, supply chain, marketing and finance, and some overlap.”

This signals a major change in Apple\s policy towards India as one of the strangest aspects of Steve Job\s reign as the chief executive of Apple was his neglect of India as a market. This has changed since Tim Cook\s takeover as the new CEO of Apple, with an increasing focus being laid on India as a valuable market for Apple\s signature products, the iPhones, iPads and iMacs.

While Apple sold a record 35.2 million iPhones in the last quarter, with a significant growth of 12.7% over last year, the increase in demand is said to come from four countries Brazil, Russia, India and China. India is one of the fastest growing markets for smartphones in the world, with every major company in the world – Google, Samsung, Microsoft-Nokia and Apple fighting hard for a bigger slice of the pie.

Author: Raghav Hedge – India

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