Tipped to be one of the world’s largest economies, yet notorious for its diverse and chaotic nature, it is easy to see why those seeking to do business in India can be both intrigued and wary in equal measure. The poor ranking of 100 that the country secures on the ease of doing business index and negative ranking of 130 on the Index of Economic Freedom when contrasted with being the fastest growing G20 economy (expected to see a GDP expansion of 7.4% in 2019) only reinforces the paradoxical nature of doing business in India.
While India shows promise and is progressing into a more open-economy with a large well-educated and committed workforce there are many factors that hold India back and create challenges when doing business in India. Corrupt officials, a poor infrastructure and limiting regulations can all impede business prosperity. The Indian government’s openness to foreign investment has historically been below average despite the desperate need for investment in all sectors in India.
It stands to reason that, while the systems may be difficult to understand and with India brimming with a population of over 1.2 billion cultural generalisations are impossible to make. However, an effort should be made to understand the culture when doing business in India. The legacy of the caste system filters down to today’s largely hierarchical business operations. The boss’ instructions are generally followed without question in India making it necessary to liaise as near to the top of a business as possible.
A predominately relationship-orientated society, family-related topics often figure as topics in meetings. Whilst Western professionals are often conditioned to ‘learn from their mistakes’ viewing failure in a positive light, Indian team-members find negative feedback hard to contend with.
The World Business Culture website consists of helpful insights and practical advice to educate those doing business in India about the customs, cultures, systems and economy to pave the way for successful business ventures in the country poised to make its mark in the global market.