Business Culture-India
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Business Culture

To do business with India is right. With an enormous

population, fast development, etc. so can India

offers unbelievable business opportunities. But it

isn’t easy to do business with India. Many people,

who is without such an experience, believe its

similar to doing business with England as India ones

belonged to the British. But the trough is that India

is more difficult to handle for most business people

compared to China. By language India is easier, yes.

But the culture is more different from Europe or USA

than China. Let us give you just a few examples:

Many people in India has a different way of under-standing and handling time. You will meet people who, by western standard, does not have common sense. I.e. people who does not act in a way you would expect. Let say an exporter may go by the instruction you have given. But whats not included in the instruction is not performed – because you believed it was obvious – they don’t.  When you expected a shipment of products to be cleaned after manufacturing before being exported the factory did not do it because you did not tell them. People in India many times do not use the “No” word but give the “no message” in another way. They would say No if you ask them if they want a cup of coffee they do not want. But if you are negotiating a deal they may only say that they “will think and revert later on the matter” and that could be a hidden “no”. To survive in India, you must be able to tell others how fantastic you are. Especially among some people this has developed in such a way that you can describe these people as “good story tellers”. Too many time business people from Europe have tried to do business with India meeting such people who say they can do anything when they in reality do not know how to handle such business so that the business people from Europe in the end only lost money. The European business people has simply been impressed by the wrong people. We have many times been contacted by people who has tried to do business with India on their own but where they got into trouble. They did get a shipment with fungus, or jewellery was grey stones, or they paid and got nothing. They did not understand that India is different and you must know it before doing deals with it. It took us 15 years before we realized that business people in India most often belongs to what we can say in-official business networks. And for one deal, or one project, you can only use people from the same such network to have a success. If you mix people from different networks, it’s like trying to market football (soccer) items to Liverpool using an Arsenal fan club – it will be a disaster. Such networks may include people from different groups of people with different religions etc. but they never the less constitute such a network in a similar way that different people belongs to the same fun club of Arsenal. Many people select the wrong partner for dealing with India. A European business person would never use an American postman working for the post office in the same country as the business person is active. But for some strange reason many, also experienced, business people in Europe try to use the help of Indians living in their country regardless these persons have no experience in doing such business. Probably it’s the “story telling” in combinations with dreams of business that create such problems. Also getting the wrong partner in India happens often. If you advertise for a business partner in India we say that 10% of them will be criminals just wanting to get your money. 80% will be what we call business dreamers who want to do business but does not have the knowledge and experience. Only 10% will be the right people to deal with.  This list can be much longer. We have spoken to many Scandinavian companies who was able to handle India by themselves and typically it took them 2 years of trial and error before they really understood how they needed to think differently in India. And many companies have failed doing business with India trying by themselves or having the wrong partner. Get rid of the headache, use our services instead.
© IMTC 2016
Business Culture-India
MTC India

Business Culture

To do business with India is right. With an

enormous population, fast development, etc. so

can India offers unbelievable business

opportunities. But it isn’t easy to do business

with India. Many people, who is without such an

experience, believe its similar to doing business

with England as India ones belonged to the

British. But the trough is that India is more

difficult to handle for most business people

compared to China. By language India is easier,

yes. But the culture is more different from

Europe or USA

than China. Let us

give you just a

few examples:

Many people in India has a different way of under- standing and handling time. You will meet people who, by western standard, does not have common sense. I.e. people who does not act in a way you would expect. Let say an exporter may go by the instruction you have given. But whats not included in the instruction is not performed – because you believed it was obvious – they don’t.  When you expected a shipment of products to be cleaned after manufacturing before being exported the factory did not do it because you did not tell them. People in India many times do not use the “No” word but give the “no message” in another way. They would say No if you ask them if they want a cup of coffee they do not want. But if you are negotiating a deal they may only say that they “will think and revert later on the matter” and that could be a hidden “no”. To survive in India, you must be able to tell others how fantastic you are. Especially among some people this has developed in such a way that you can describe these people as “good story tellers”. Too many time business people from Europe have tried to do business with India meeting such people who say they can do anything when they in reality do not know how to handle such business so that the business people from Europe in the end only lost money. The European business people has simply been impressed by the wrong people. We have many times been contacted by people who has tried to do business with India on their own but where they got into trouble. They did get a shipment with fungus, or jewellery was grey stones, or they paid and got nothing. They did not understand that India is different and you must know it before doing deals with it. It took us 15 years before we realized that business people in India most often belongs to what we can say in-official business networks. And for one deal, or one project, you can only use people from the same such network to have a success. If you mix people from different networks, it’s like trying to market football (soccer) items to Liverpool using an Arsenal fan club – it will be a disaster. Such networks may include people from different groups of people with different religions etc. but they never the less constitute such a network in a similar way that different people belongs to the same fun club of Arsenal. Many people select the wrong partner for dealing with India. A European business person would never use an American postman working for the post office in the same country as the business person is active. But for some strange reason many, also experienced, business people in Europe try to use the help of Indians living in their country regardless these persons have no experience in doing such business. Probably it’s the “story telling” in combinations with dreams of business that create such problems. Also getting the wrong partner in India happens often. If you advertise for a business partner in India we say that 10% of them will be criminals just wanting to get your money. 80% will be what we call business dreamers who want to do business but does not have the knowledge and experience. Only 10% will be the right people to deal with.  This list can be much longer. We have spoken to many Scandinavian companies who was able to handle India by themselves and typically it took them 2 years of trial and error before they really understood how they needed to think differently in India. And many companies have failed doing business with India trying by themselves or having the wrong partner. Get rid of the headache, use our services instead.
  © IMTC 2016
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