Indian Teams

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

India is notoriously difficult. It scores badly on the ease of doing business index and a lack of investment in infrastructure over the past twenty to thirty years can test even the most seasoned of business travellers. So why bother with India when there are easier potential markets?

We feel you really do need to look at doing business in India for a number of very strong reasons. Firstly, India stands poised to become one of the world’s largest economies over the coming years as economic liberalisation kicks in after decades of political stagnation. It has a population of almost 1.3 billion of which 50% are under the age of 30 and therefore the consumer potential of the country is almost limitless. Secondly, the lack of historical investment in the country means that India needs everything. You cannot point to a sector which is not crying out for investment and new product ideas. Thirdly, and very importantly, India has a highly educated, aspirational workforce who can help you build your business on the ground.
India is the ‘next big thing’ – you really cannot afford to ignore it.

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.

This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Indian business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on:

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