Understand Business Customs in India
Though international organizations conduct business in various nations every day, successfully navigating the unique climates can be tricky, and some countries have etiquette rules and customs that can trip up even the most savvy professional.
India is one such country, as it has a much different way of doing business compared to its Western counterparts. However, it’s drawing attention as the nation is rapidly expanding, and its economy is ideal for companies from all over the world. If you plan on moving operations into this nation, make sure you understand the business customs in India that can impact your organization.
India Balances Familiar with Unusual
For Western executives, doing business in India is challenging, as the country balances familiar traits with a vast population, specialized customs, and other unique factors.
According to CNN, many professionals in India can speak English, and plenty have even studied at premier Western educational institutions. While this may first seem exciting, don't forget that India is still very different from the U.S. and the U.K.
"You can get lulled into a false sense of security” as you might think that except “for people dressing a little different and talking a little different, they are just like me,'" Jitendra Singh, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, told the media outlet. "That's a completely false premise. There are all kinds of nuances in the culture, implicit cultural norms that we don't know about until we run afoul of them."
Learn About Business Customs in India
While much of India is Americanized, it remains a country full of subtle differences and factors that impact how business is conducted, leaving the possibility for culture shock.
In an interview with Business Insider, Rajiv Khanna, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer for K&L Gates, explained that you must expect to be treated equally, regardless of your job title. Even if you head a major corporation, your Indian business partners might not give you special treatment. Khanna also noted that many people have to travel across the country to do business, so be prepared to be on the move.
In addition, business customs in India don’t focus on time as much as they do in the US. Meetings often start late and run late, according to Khanna. You might start a few hours later than you would in the U.S. or the U.K., and you'll probably end later as well. Meetings, times, and dates often change at the last minute, so be prepared to adapt.
One of the largest nations in the world, India is a strategic player in the emerging markets landscape. As the country's economy continues to improve, major global players, such as the U.S., hope to build more in-depth fiscal partnerships. Learn more about how India's economy improves and growing ties with the U.S.
If your organization has operations in India, look into safety and security and risks abroad. Find out more about living overseas by visiting India's risk assessment guide.
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