Early this morning on his first official visit to India, Apple CEO Tim Cook stopped by the famous Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati temple in Mumbai to offer prayers to the elephant god Ganesha.
Ganesha, the most famous Hindu deity, is known as the remover of obstacles and is commonly offered a prayer at the beginning of any new endeavor.
Unlike Steve Jobs, Cook’s own endeavor to India isn’t a spiritual one — his visit will include battling state regulations that have prevented Apple from opening it’s first direct store in the country despite the launch of the iPhone nearly 10 years ago.
According to Quartz, Indian regulations require that at least 30% of goods sold in stores must be locally sourced, meaning that Apple’s iPhones, which are largely produced in China, don’t make the cut.
Apart from his temple visit, Cook also announced that Apple is setting up a design and development accelerator in Bengaluru meant to provide specialized support to iOS app developers.
While Cook’s itinerary is generally meant to be secret, he will reportedly be meeting with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi later this week.
Apple’s revenue in India increased by 56% last quarter while China, the company’s second-largest market, fell for the first time ever. Cook’s visit is clearly poised to make the massive emerging Indian market the next “China” for the company.