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Tim Cook hobnobs with corporates, app developers, Bollywood

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is on his maiden five-day visit to the country, on May 18 met the honchos of India Inc, leading bankers and the Bollywood royalty, and will inaugurate a development centre in Hyderabad on May 19 as the tech giant seeks to bolster its India presence.

Cook met Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry, TCS managing director N Chandrasekaran and Vodafone chief executive Sunil Sood at the Taj Hotel and held a meeting with ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar at the bank’s headquarters.

The Apple CEO, who landed in the city late night on May 17 in a private jet from Beijing and is staying in a large suite at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace, began his India sojourn on a religious note by paying a visit to the famed Siddhivinayak Temple in the heart of Mumbai.

At the Siddhivinayak Temple, located at Prabhadevi area of south Central Mumbai, he also chanced up on Mukesh Ambani’s elder son Anant Ambani.

Interestingly, the media was kept away from all these engagements.

Cook walked-in into the ICICI Bank Towers in the Bandra Kurla Complex business district here and spent over an hour at the bank, and met its managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar and executive directors at the closed-door meeting, sources said.

ICICI Bank was among the first to introduce the banking application on the Apple Watch, even before the gadget got launched in the country. Over the past few years, it has also introduced a slew of other initiatives on the digital front, including a digital wallet, just like the ‘Apple Pay’ by the tech giant.

While Cook reportedly had lunch at the Mukesh Ambani’s billion-dollar residence Antilla, even though the RIL chairman is away in the US, he will dine with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan at his sea-facing residence, Mannat, in Bandra.

At the last leg of his five-day visit, Cook is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, before winding up his visit, and likely to discuss issues pertaining to opening Apple Stores. In the Capital, he is also slated to meet Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal.

Cook also met four app developers and understood their applications in the city.

“Great to hear from some of India’s top iOS developers today. Innovative apps and many ideas for the future,” Cook tweeted in the evening on May 18.

Cook will leave for Bangalore and Hyderabad on May 19.

Apple will set up an app design and development centre in Bengaluru to support developers in India creating innovative mobile apps for its iOS platform.

Cook will also inaugurate its development facility to be used as a mapping centre in Hyderabad tomorrow in the presence of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.