Indian Business Culture - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Indian Business Culture

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Indian Business Culture

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  1. Indian Business Culture

  2. Overall Business Culture • Appointments • Be early but be prepared to wait • The more you wait, the less important you are • Avoid scheduling appointments in March • Dress Code • Suit and tie but shirtsleeves and a tie are acceptable; salwar kameez / sari for women • Muted colors • Foreign visitors • suit and tie • Indian dress appreciated and seen as a sign of friendship Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  3. Overall Business Culture • Conversation • ‘Small talk’ in business meetings to establish rapport and trust • Personal questions are normal • Disagreements expressed indirectly unless the person is the boss or a trusting relationship exists amongst peers • Popular topics – Cricket, Bollywood, Politics and Economic Reforms, and Indian traditions and history (with foreign visitors) Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  4. Overall Business Culture • Topics to avoid in a discussion • Religion • Pakistan • Poverty • Address by first name / prefix? • Usually prefix followed by last name • Once clearance is given, then first name Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  5. Overall Business Culture • Gift Giving • Should not be too expensive • Generally not expected in the first meeting • No leather gifts • Avoid black and white wrapping paper • A gift representative of your culture is appreciated • Be cautious before gifting alcohol • If invited home, take a gift for home or children • If invited during festival, take a box of sweets • Jewelry item – inappropriate gift from a man to a woman Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  6. Overall Business Culture • Indian businesses • Large businesses owned by families from a community • Parsis, Marwaris, Gujaratis, Chettiars, etc. • Modern operations and international norms • Parsi and Gujarati businesses are more modern in their workings • Chettiars and Marwari businesses are more conservative • Differences between private sector and government sector and new economy (e.g. IT)– • bureaucracy, speed and flexibility Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  7. Overall Business Culture • The Business Meeting • Bring plenty of visiting cards • Interaction in English • If you represent a lesser known country / business get third party referrals • Hierarchy matters • Establish contact with the boss first • Keeps respect intact and speeds up implementation • Stand up and greet the boss personally when he/she enters the room • Uncomfortable in the presence of women executives Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  8. Overall Business Culture • The Business Meeting • Relaxed negotiations • Small talk and personal questions to build relationships • Jumping to the point is seen to be rude • Offers of tea/coffee/snacks • Polychronic – deal with more than one task at one time • Inductive approach to understanding – be prepared for seemingly unrelated questions Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  9. Overall Business Culture • The Business Meeting • Cautious about new ideas / proposals • Bargaining is a done thing • Commitment to an idea may take a while coming • Hospitality / Entertaining • Very hospitable, involve guest in minor celebrations • ‘agraha’ – the solicitous offer of food and drink • Direct refusal is impolite • ‘drop in any time’ • Be alert to vegetarian guests • Eating with your hands / washing / rinsing after a meal • Business lunches are preferred to business dinners Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  10. Overall Business culture • Business entertaining • Organized in high class five star restaurants • Normally over lunch – can drag on for a couple of hours • Toasting not common • Female hosts – who pays the bill? • 10% tip is customary • Arrive a few minutes (five, not more) late • Social Entertaining • Arrive 15 to 30 minutes late • Praise the food – this is praising the lady of the house Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  11. Overall Business Culture • Social Entertaining • Don’t say ‘thank you’ at the end of the meal – considered impolite – offer to reciprocate the invitation • Indians do not respond to RSVPs – call and confirm • Guests may bring their guests – remain gracious and hospitable • Take off shoes before entering the house Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  12. Overall Business culture • Public Behavior • ‘Namaskar’ • Shake hands / Hello / Hi • greeting with hugs and kisses not appropriate • Beckoning somebody • Pointing a finger at someone • Standing erect with hands on hips • Chewing gum • Seniority, age and authority Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla

  13. Overall Business Culture • General • Feet are unclean – touching another with your feet; putting feet up on a table, etc. • Eye contact • Comfortable distance between two people • Ignore beggars • Be aware of pickpockets and swindlers Adapted from 'Executive Planet' by M. Shukla