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Analysis of Business Etiquette Culture in India

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Introduction Study of cultural and society has remained one of the most essential activities of modern community considering the multifaceted relationship of business with the diverse behavioral studies. Similarly, business activities are becoming very much diverse due to the rise of the multinational capitals, globalized economic market, advancement of technology and global human network. These factors are playing key roles towards global business development. Cross-border and international business expansion, trade alliance, franchise mergers, and acquisitions are increasing.

The global market is becoming smaller and smaller. Knowledge of multi-cultural communication is becoming more and more important. Hence the study of intercultural business relation is a practice to study and analyze about the varying socio-cultural values of national and international communities in order to gain required business and corporate sensitivity. And for sustainable business growth, we have to cope with socio-cultural values of respective society to have a balanced growth of business together with the growth of communities, public, and society at large as a part of the corporate social responsibility. Here this essay highlights about the Indian etiquette, how Mary an Australian has to manage to cope with the challenge of intercultural communication while expanding her business of chutneys, chilies, jams, sauces and pastes in India having her first meeting with Mr. Sharma, areas of potential cross-cultural misunderstanding that Mary might face and recommendations to Mary for having her first meeting successful. About Indian Etiquettes India is a fascinating country of ancient traditions and values that have become a truly global business presence in the last few decades. It is one of the most diverse countries in the world. The more we learn about the Indian business mindset the more successful we will be in our interactions with them. You cannot ignore India but if you want to business in India successfully, you need to understand it. You need to understand the cultural drivers and expectations of the people you will be working with when you get there and you need to understand how that cultural knowledge can help you succeed in-country.

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There is a great value of inter-personal relationships. We must take time to develop relationships as relationship plays a vital role in decisions in India. Indian discomfort of directly saying no, means may businessmen and women from different countries have left a meeting thinking they have reached an agreement or closed a deal, only to find out later they haven’t. You need to be prepared to read the signs. It could be in the form of hesitating, changing the subject or asking a lot of questions. For that, you must ask them open-end questions instead of just yes or No. while communicating with Indians approach of communicating matters a lot than the actual words. If it seems more direct you might be considered as rude. In India, relationships are critical for doing business effectively. Personal connection to some extent must be built like taking an extra moment to make small talk about the family, plans, weekend and holidays. And remembering some family details and asking some follow-up question on next meeting. And should not get offended if asked any questions that seem personal. Talking about Time culture. Time in India is seen as being fairly fluid and flexible with less sense of being able to manage time. Expect meetings to start and end late. So while setting deadlines make sure to communicate about the deadlines its positive impact on finishing on time and negative impact if not met on time. There is a high importance of formality and hierarchy when working in India. I.e. while addressing people of the higher status use of title name or last names would be better and with colleagues, its better asking how they would like to be addressed. While talking about the identity its patriarchal society where the father is the head of household, strangers are accepted easily, people get offended when rejected, belief in karma i.e. what we do comes back to us, there are inequalities between men and women. Highly religious and avoids conflict. Hofstede cultural dimensions According to Hofstede cultural dimensions are the state of human mind which includes thoughts, feelings and actions of human beings. He has explained culture as computer software, without software computer is useless.

Similarly without culture human beings might be meaningless. There is a vast cultural difference between Australia and India. The Hofstede has explained five dimensions of culture. They are: – power distance, individualism vs collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity vs femininity and long-term vs short-term orientation. Recommendation to Mary India is a country of cultures, norms and values. There is a great deal with the feelings and relationship. People are judged from their social activities from how they treat others. They believe in Karma i.e. what we do is coming back to us. It places great value on the quality of inter-personal relationships. And here relationships aren’t built that fast, it takes time to trust people in India. Once trust is gained Indians are ready to take larger risk. So Mary is recommended to look over this seriously and not to rush over thing’s too quickly. Her meeting with Mr. Sharma might not be as formal as she is expecting it to be.

She must not get irritated or feel insulted if asked any informal or personal questions. Meeting may get lengthy as people here in India consider time to be out of control. Meetings may start and finish late with many interruptions as well as other meetings may be held in between. Calmness and politeness is major key for Mary. Do not be surprised if people seem ready to agree to most things – it is difficult for Indians to show direct disagreement. People will tend to tell you what they think you want to hear. If an Indian decision-maker says they need to “discuss the proposal with colleagues” or “we can discuss this later “ – it may mean no. Small gifts are often given and received – this is usually part of the relationship building process and should not be taken as attempted bribery. Gifts should be wrapped and not opened in front of the giver. Conclusion In conclusion it is a difficult task to understand business in today’s context because of different complexities. Impact of globalization has created problem of addressing diversity. It has become a great challenge for professional society to get hold of their confidence and retain into business. To understand cross cultural communication it is necessary to understand culture in its right perspective. As per the modern definition culture is defined as the ways of life through which people understand and interpret the world in a broad dimension and adjust themselves to the changes for a better living. People living in different countries interpret things and events in different ways. Each group of people considers their own culture to be normal and natural and others culture as unnatural. People may differ in their ways of life, sometimes resulting in clash of interests. The most reasonable way to deal with such a situation for all is to respect norms and values of other cultures. It is recommended to Mary to closely observe Indian Business Etiquette and remember small details like respect manners, greetings, punctuality so that her first meeting would be impressive. Creating a personal relation with Mr. Sharma would help her creating good business relation as it affects his decision in negotiating deal. Relationships and feelings play a larger role in decisions in India. In general, Indians take larger risks with a person whose intentions they trust.

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