Successful Entertaining in India


As in all relationship-driven cultures, business entertaining is an important part of the whole commercial process. Take every opportunity to eat with your Indian colleagues and clients.

Business entertaining would rarely occur at a breakfast meeting as the working day starts in a more leisurely way than with a high-powered business meeting. - and people often have a long commute in dificult conditions.  Therefore, you are more likely to be invited out for lunch or dinner.

Food in India is invariably spicy and if you don't like spicy food, you have to look quite hard for milder alternatives (often an omelette.) Food is usually offered as vegetarian or non-vegetarian options with the vegetarian dishes being in greater supply. It is perfectly acceptable to choose a non-vegetarian dish even if your host chooses vegetarian.

Remember that Hindus don't eat beef and Muslims don't eat pork (or drink alcohol)

Eating in India can seem an informal affair where the use of the hands for eating is perfectly permissible — often even in the most expensive of restaurants. (If you find this difficult, eating implements will almost always be available.) It is always more polite to eat with the right hand than the left hand. People tend to start to eat as soon as their meal arrives rather than waiting for everybody to be served.

It is usual to leave a tip of around 10% when settling the bill.

Suggested Reading List...

Doing Business in India Rajesh Kumar and Anand Sethi
Doing Business in India Pawan S. Budhwar and Arup Varma