Women in Business in India

Foreign women seem to have little difficulty being accepted in an Indian organisation.

It would appear that the rank of an individual supersedes any notions of gender inequality which may be inherent in Indian society. If a woman has the position of manager, she must be there for a reason and her instructions will be followed just as diligently as those of a male manager.

Although the vast majority of senior managers in India are men, there is a growing cadre of women who are working their way up the corporate ladder and this trend is expected to grow along with the increasing levels of women’s education and the influence of western MNCs in the business landscape of the country

It is important that women managers act at all times in a formal manner with male subordinates, as any overt signs of friendship or affection could be misconstrued.

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