With so many foreign companies opening offices in India or interested in doing business there, it’s quite possible you could find yourself on that next Air India flight to Hyderabad to conduct or attend business meetings for your job. If you do, here’s a few tips for the business traveler to India.
1. Bold, outspoken behavior may well be looked down upon. If you are an assertive woman, tone down your personality in order to have a successful meeting, contract or sale. While this does go against the grain of my Jersey-girl upbringing, I realize that I have to play by other rules when I’m traveling.
2. India is a relationship-based country and companies are often family-owned. Your Indian colleague(s) will invariably “know someone” who can help you with whatever your needs are, be it buying a rug, booking a hotel, finding a restaurant or scheduling a service.
3. Have patience. This relationship-based way of communicating and decision-making gives you the opportunity to meet lots of people and you could very well make your way through a business transaction being passed from one individual to another. Relationship building takes time, however, and can slow down the process of getting a deal done.
4. India is synonymous with red tape and bureaucracy. While computers are becoming more ubiquitous, don’t be surprised if your colleagues document information in large ledgers filled with hand-printed information.
5. First impressions are paramount. Wear conservative, professional clothes. Indian businesspeople will dress more formally than those in the West. Think: New York City business suit rather than Seattle business casual.
Indian Businesswoman: Maryland GovPics