Tim Cook begins maiden India trip with visit to Siddhivinayak temple, performs aarti

Global tech giant Apple Inc's CEO Tim Cook kicked off his maiden India trip with an early morning visit to the famed Shree Siddhivinayak temple in Prabhadevi, central Mumbai, where he performed a special 'aarti'.

Sporting a light blue shirt and dark trousers with a yellow stole having Sanskrit scriptures in orange, Cook performed a special 'aarti' of the temple's presiding deity, Lord Ganesha -- who symbolizes wisdom and is the remover of all obstacles.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook performs aarti at the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai on May 18, 2016.Apple CEO, Tim Cook at the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai on Wednesday. Pic/IANS

Accompanied by Apple India head Sanjay Kaul, Cook's temple visit was a prelude to a host of meetings lined up with top business and Bollywood personalities later in the day.

At the temple Cook ran into Anant Ambani, the scion of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, and chatted with him for some time.

Sources said Cook's temple visit was unplanned and so was the chance meeting with junior Ambani.

Also Read: Busy schedule for Apple CEO Tim Cook in India

He arrived in the city late last night from Beijing and is staying at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel in the city. He was seen wearing a light blue shirt and a stole with Sanskrit scriptures, which is generally worn by Hindu devotees.

Indian spirituality is not really new to the American company known for cutting-edge scientific innovation. Its famed founder, the late Steve Jobs, had a fling with it over four decades ago, and some accounts say that he had also stayed at the commune of a Hindu ascetic at Haridwar during the trip.

At Prabhadevi's Siddhivinayak Temple, Cook was accompanied by Sanjay Kaul, the head of country operations for the tech giant, which witnessed its first quarter of dip in sales of its flagship iPhone.

India, however, figures as a bright spot amid the slump and recorded a 56 per cent jump in sales here with the revenue crossing a USD 1-billion mark for the first time. While some media reports said he would be meeting Mukesh Ambani, a RIL spokesperson said the company chairman is away in the US.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook outside the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook outside the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai on Wednesday. Pic/IANS

Cook is scheduled to meet top honchos of India Inc later during the day, including Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry, TCS Chief Executive N Chandrasekaran, Vodafone India head Sunil Sood and some startup entrepreneurs, before flying off to Hyderabad for engagements on Thursday.

Cook may also meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He is also likely to dine with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan at the superstar's sea-facing residence in Bandra. He is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday before winding up his visit.

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