Team working, as understood in the Anglo-Saxon world is alien to the Indian approach to business.

A team expects to be given exact and complete instructions by the team-leader or boss and then to follow those instructions exactly. Team members would not be expected to query the instructions passed down to them and would expect to follow them even when it became apparent that things were going wrong.

Therefore, the team leader takes complete responsibility for the success or failure of a project and needs to be constantly on top of progress and looking out for problems. If anything goes awry, the team leader is expected to sort it out personally. Once again, micro-management is the key.

Indian team-members love to get positive feedback on work done (especially if that feedback is cc’d to the boss) but find negative feedback very difficult to handle. Negative feedback can be seen as detrimental to future promotion prospects and the western concept of welcoming mistakes as a positive learning experience is a non-Indian reaction.

At the extreme, over-use of negative feedback can increase attrition rates within off-shore centres (attrition rates which are already usually very high.)

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in India

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in India. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in India and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips