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India -- Social and Business Culture Overview. April 15 , 2005. Agenda India -- Social and Business Culture Overview. Introduction Cultural Tips Business Practices Travel General Additional Sources of Information. Introduction:.

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India -- Social and Business Culture Overview


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    1. India -- Social and Business Culture Overview April 15 , 2005

    2. AgendaIndia -- Social and Business Culture Overview • Introduction • Cultural Tips • Business Practices • Travel • General • Additional Sources of Information

    3. Introduction: • India is a vast and diverse country with variety of ancient and modern cultures existing together. One-sixth of world's population, or 1 Billion people call India home. It is primarily rural, with 80% of people living in more than 550,000 villages • Aryans conquered most of subcontinent before 1500 B.C. Muslim Moghuls ruled much of India until European invaders. Portuguese first arrived in 1489. French, Dutch, and English traders followed. British East India Company ruled India from 1760 to 1858, when India was formally transferred to British Crown. After long years of struggle against British rule, India became an independent country on August 15, 1947 • Religion plays a major role in daily lives, and two of world's great religions -- Buddhism and Hinduism -- were born here • Over 14 major and 300 minor languages are spoken in India. English is widely used, especially by businessmen, industrialists, politicians, and educators. Majority of business is conducted in English. • majority of Indians are Hindu. Unlike many religions which are traced to a particular founder, Hinduism grew out of Indian mythology. It is a religion with multiple god. Cows are venerated by many Hindus, who do not eat beef. Many Hindus are vegetarian. • Over 100 million people are Muslim and follow Islam. Muslim do not consume Pork and alcohol. • Since India's two major religions abjure beef and pork, Indian cuisine uses mostly chicken, lamb or vegetables.

    4. AgendaIndia -- Social and Business Culture Overview • Introduction • Cultural Tips • Business Practices • Travel • General • Additional Sources of Information

    5. Cultural Tips: • Business relationships in India are based on personal relationships. You must establish a relationship of mutual respect with team members. • Indians want to know everything at the first meeting -- don't be offended.It is to find out personal preferences. • With fourteen major languages and some three hundred minor ones, English has become a unifying force in India. Generally, you will be able to conduct business in English. • Traditionally (in non-business settings), Indians used a greeting called a namaste rather than shaking hands. Namaste is done by holding palms together at chin level, as if praying. This is accompanied by a nod or short bow and word namaste (nah-mahs-tay). Like aloha in Hawaiian, namaste means either hello or good bye. • In current business environment, shaking hands is more and more prevalent and widely accepted. • Among some Indians, a side-to-side toss of one's head indicates agreement or understanding...although Westerners may interpret it as a nod meaning "No.“ • Comfortable ‘personal space’ between two people in India is much less than in Western societies. • In IT sector,dress code is business casual. As a visitor, conservative, though not formal, dress is advisable. For women, pant-suits or long skirts, which cover the knees, are more acceptable to wear. The neckline of the blouse or the top should be high. Select neutral colors, which are subdued and not very bright.

    6. AgendaIndia -- Social and Business Culture Overview • Introduction • Cultural Tips • Business Practices • Travel • General • Additional Sources of Information

    7. Business Practices: • In business environment, universal greeting of shaking hands is accepted. • In India, date is written differently. First, day is written, then month, then year (i.e., December 3, 2000 is written 3.12.00). • Indians appreciate punctuality but don't always practice it themselves. Keep your schedule loose enough for last-minute rescheduling of meetings. Indians prefer late morning or early afternoon appointments, between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm. • Typical businesshours are 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday (lunch is usually from 1:00 to 2:00 pm). In IT industry, typical business hours are 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM. • Business in India is highly personal. A great amount of hospitality is associated with doing business. Tea and small talk are preludes to most business discussions. • word "no" has harsh implications in India. Evasive refusals are more common, and are considered more polite. • Indians have a relaxed attitude towards time. Concept "time is money" is alien to most Indians. But, once commitments are made, most will strive very hard to fulfill them. • Business lunches are preferred to dinners. • Remember that Hindus do not eat beef and Muslims do not eat pork. • Telephone service within India has improved substantially in last few years and is increasingly reliable. Cell phones have also become popular in several parts of the country.

    8. AgendaIndia -- Social and Business Culture Overview • Introduction • Cultural Tips • Business Practices • Travel • General • Additional Sources of Information

    9. Travel: • Passports and Visa: US Citizens require business visa to enter India. • Seasons: Best time of year to visit India is between October and March (bypassing seasons of extreme heat and monsoons). Winter can be very cold in the north. • Medical: If possible, schedule physical and dental examinations well before leaving for India, as some vaccinations must be given over a period of time. Though not required, some precautionary vaccinations are: meningitis, tetanus, polio, hepatitis and typhoid. • India requires a Yellow Fever vaccination if you are transitioning through a country with Yellow Fever incidents. • Travelers should drink bottled water and eat only well-cooked meals. • Airplanes: Make reservations well in advance, and do not change your reservation unless absolutely necessary. Overbooking is common. • Taxis: At airport, fares should be posted at Taxi Stand. Otherwise, ask how much the trip to your hotel should cost at Tourist Desk. Pay in advance at Taxi Stand, and get a receipt with your taxi's number on it. Make sure all your bags are in trunk before you leave. • If you catch your taxi in street, it may sometimes not have a meter. Make sure you know fare before you enter. It is advisable to hire a prepaid taxi. • Rental Cars: Driving is done on left, British-style. It is not recommended for foreigners to drive in India. Rental cars come with a driver, eliminating need for foreigners to drive. • General: International air travel expenses and accommodations at hotels must be paid in foreign currency. This is best accomplished by credit cards or traveler's checks.

    10. AgendaIndia -- Social and Business Culture Overview • Introduction • Cultural Tips • Business Practices • Travel • General • Additional Sources of Information

    11. General: • India is 5-and-one-half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, (G.M.T. + 5 1/2); 10 and one-half hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T. + 10 1/2) and 9 and one-half hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (E.D.T. + 9 1/2) • Indian electric current is generally A.C. 50 cycles, 230/400 volts. Adaptors for electrical outlets used around the world are available in most travel-supply stores. • Giving money to a beggar will result in your being besieged by dozens of beggars.

    12. AgendaIndia -- Social and Business Culture Overview • Introduction • Cultural Tips • Business Practices • Travel • General • Additional Sources of Information

    13. Additional Sources of Information: • Center for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/travel/indianrg.htm • US Department of State: http://www.state.gov/p/sa/ci/in/ • Indian Consulate, New York City: http://www.indiacgny.org/ • Tourism: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/india/ • Bangalore Information: http://www.karnataka.com/tourism/bangalore/ • Bangalore Information: http://www.virtualbangalore.com/Tou/TouInfC.php