Doing Business in India: Cultural differences

Ceres

New Member
We previously had a thread that discussed 3 ways to kill a business deal in India. I came across another good article that offers advice to those doing business in India:

Doing Business in India - A Cultural Perspective by Advt. Rajesh Kumar

Addressing issues of respect: Indian languages, unlike English, differentiate between peers and those who are older and command respect. That?s why the average Indian tends to address people as ?Sir? or ?Ma?am,? or affix the title ?Mr.? ?Ms.? or ?Mrs.? before their names, if you don?t want to come across as disrespectful. Americans generally prefer the use of first names. Remember that while most younger Indians will welcome the informality of first names, older ones may consider it an affront, especially if the speaker is much younger. Never address and older Indian with his first name.

That's a very practical and useful tip. I imagine there are many other countries where elders command more respect.

Small talk is big: If you are hosting the business meetings, remember that Indians are not as direct as their American counterparts. They generally start with small talk and relatively unimportant topics before going on to the main issue. They also place importance on refreshments and tea/coffee during the course of the meeting. Not offering tea/coffee may be seen as an affront.

This wouldn't be a problem for me. I was born and raised in England, and therefore am used to small talk over a nice cup of tea. ;)

Click on the link above to read the rest of the article.

The bottom line is we must educate ourselves about cultural differences when doing business in another country. If you'd like to share some tips about doing business in India, please list them below.
 

Jeff

Administrator
Staff member
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Interesting article!

This wouldn't be a problem for me. I was born and raised in England, and therefore am used to small talk over a nice cup of tea. ;)

In the UK, a cup of tea is the solution to all problems :D
 
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