A Canadian citizen, Kaul has been associated with Apple since Novmeber 2011 and has been taking care of the Apple’s iPhone business. From heading iPhone business to Director, Telecom, he has now taken over the role of Country Head from Manish Dhir.
Before joining Apple, Kaul was associated with BlackBerry (earlier Research In Motion) in the capacity of Director – Channel sales for India for over two years where he revived Airtel BlackBerry business to achieve three digit percentage growth in net subscriber additions in 12 months. After completing his Msc (Tech) Engineering Technology, Industrial Engineering from BITS Pilani, Kaul completed his MBA in International Business from Gustavson School of Business, Canada in 1998 and moved back to India in 2008.
The elevation of Kaul, currently country sales director, to the position of country manager comes at a time when India has become a market of great importance to Apple. In the January-March 2016 period, the company reported a 56 per cent growth in iPhone sales, while global sales of the flagship device dropped 16 per cent.
Kaul’s appointment also comes at a time when Apple is planning to open brand-owned stores in India. The company’s plans to serve the low- to mid-range smartphone market in India with refurbished devices have, however, hit a roadblock after the government did not give its approval.
Apple is currently fighting hard against rivals such as Samsung for a greater share of the smartphone market in a country that boasts of an ever-increasing population of urban, data-hungry consumers.
Apple in India
India has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets for Apple, with the company notching up over $1-billion (around Rs 7,000-crore at current exchange rate) sales revenue in 2015. Its sales grew 76 per cent during the quarter ended December 2015 even as its global sales growth slowed to 0.4 per cent. In recent months, the Steve Jobs-founded company has identified India along with China as its top markets.
At present, Apple sells through its distributors in India. It indicated in the presentation that it would open several stores but would rely on other retailers as well.