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India. B Business etiquette and cross-culture in selected countries. Cultural differences and business customs


1 B Business etiquette and cross-culture in selected countries II. India Cultural differences and business customs Welcome ritual, business cards, hierarchies Special features of the dress code Personal relationships and cultivating contacts, Indian hospitality Differences in body language: facial expressions, gaze, gestures Table manners and faux pas

2 Asia's New Tiger More than 1.1 billion people live in India today. After China, India is the most populous country in the world. Economic growth in India has increased steadily over the past 25 years. On average, GDP grew around 6% a year. Since its start as a developing country, India has developed into a global player in several industries.

3 Multi-ethnic state and religious diversity in India 3% 25% Indo-Aryan Dravids Other 72% Other Buddhists 1 0.8 Sikhs 1.9 Christians 2.3 Muslims 13.4 Hindus 80, source: Census of India 2001

4 Language Sanskrit Hindi Punjabi (Punjab) Nepali Gujarati (Gujarat) Marathi (Maharashtra) Sindhi, Urdu (AP, UP, Dehli) Malayalam (Kerala) Tamil (Tamil Nadu), Telugu (AP) Kannada (Karnataka) Script Variety of languages ​​स क त हन द ਪ ਜ ਬ न प ल ગજર ત मर ठ सन ध; سنڌي മലയ ള தம ழ ల గ కన ನ డ speakers in Mio region Indian scholarly language (Brahmins), original language of Hinduism North and Central India North India, Pakistan North Asia, Nepal Bhutan West Indies India, Pakistan India, Pakistan and others South India Oriya Bengali (West Bengal, Tripura) ব ল ভ ষ East Indies East Indies, Bangladesh

5 Caste system and caste affiliation Even if the caste system officially no longer exists, caste affiliation in India still today decides on partner and career choice: Hindi castes: Brahmins Kshatriyas professions Priest, scholar Today to be found in the so-called white collar jobs, IT branch higher Official Vaisya's farmer, merchant, trader Sudras Knecht, service provider Casteless Parias, Harijan (the untouchables or Dalits) Muslim castes: There are hardly any Shekh, Khan, Beg and Saiyad today, mostly members of the lowest lower caste predominantly practice manual professions (carpenters, Bakers), many are also active as traders, have on average little school education. The four main castes (varnas) are in turn divided into hundreds of jatis (sub-castes).

6 English as the unofficial language Hindi is the official language Less than 40% of the people in India speak Hindi. English is spoken by most educated Indians and is considered the unofficial national language alongside Hindi. Communication problems can arise because of the different dialects and pronunciation. There is no language barrier!

7 Indian cultural dimensions according to Hofstede Power distance Accept unequal power relationships in organizations high hierarchy, respect, vertical structures individualism independence of the individual from belonging to a group medium tendency towards individuality, no pronounced groupthink masculinity pronounced role distribution highly determining, competitive, performance-oriented uncertainty avoidance tolerance with regard to uncertainty and ambiguity feeling threatened by new situations low are open to new ideas and challenges long-term orientation interest in long-term business relationships, continuity, short-term goals subordinate high long-term cooperation Illustration according to Hofstede 2003

8 Polychronic sense of time: Time is eternal Indian representation of the passing of time as Kaalchakra (wheel of time): Time flows in a cycle. It is a recurring phenomenon. The Indian belief in rebirth is also shaped by the idea that nothing has a beginning and an end. As a result, life also returns. There is no word in Hindi for punctuality. The word Kal means a day away from today and stands for yesterday and tomorrow. The word Parson for the day before yesterday and the day after tomorrow.

9 Consequence for everyday business: Indian stretching time Time has no special value. It can be wasted. What has been missed once can be made up later. You cannot expect punctuality from Indians. Delays of a quarter to half an hour are not perceived as such. Those who come late underline their social status. Fixed dates are rarely kept (exception: official tenders). The Indian answer to deadline pressure is improvisation.

10 Polychronic task completion Task 1 Task 2 Parallel task completion Sequential task completion

11 Appointments with authorities and bribes To make an appointment, it is helpful to use existing contacts in India. Plan long waiting times. Appointments can change or be canceled even at the last minute. Keep calm and be patient. It is customary to use the Bakshish gift to expedite administrative procedures or obtain a special favor. Assign this task to a trusted Indian employee who will negotiate the amount with the authority. In the case of public tenders, it is common to influence the shortlisting with appropriate bribes. After the award, the authorities expect a donation that will have to be negotiated unofficially.

12 Meeting deadlines The time and place of meetings can change at short notice. Stay calm and make a new appointment. Always leave your contact details so that you can be informed of changes at short notice. Remind the person you are talking to about the appointment several times. It is advisable to leave early for the appointment (traffic jams and poor road conditions). Have the person you are speaking to send you a map of how to get there (street names and numbering change frequently).

13 Office hours Normal office hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Appointments before 10 a.m. are therefore unusual. In the major cities of India, work can start at 7:30 a.m. and continue until 8:00 p.m. The usual time for the luncheon (lunch break) is between 12:00 and 14:00. To discuss business, luncheon meetings and power breakfasts are trendy today.

14 working week and fiscal year Offices and authorities work from Monday to Saturday, with every 2nd Saturday of the month being free. Most companies use the 5 ½ day week, with many IT and software companies having a 5 day week. For many companies, banks, and government agencies, the fiscal year runs from April to March. Be careful with appointments during this time.

15 Pay attention to vacation and public holidays! Most Indians take their summer vacations from April to June and from mid-December to mid-January. In the north and east of India, October is also popular because of the Dussehra / Pooja holidays. India has a long list of holidays that vary by region and state. There are special holidays of the Hindus, the Muslims or the Sikhs, which can fall differently from year to year.

16 Public Holidays in India 2007 back 1. Idu'l Zuha (Bakr id) 2 Republic Day 26th 3. Muharram 4. Mahavir Jayanti 5. Milad-Un-Nabi 6. Good Friday 7. Easter 8. Labor day 9. Buddha Purnima 10. Independence Day 11. Mahatma Gandhi's B'day 12. Unification Day 13. Idu'l Fitr 14. Dussehra 15. Diwali (Deepavali) 16. Guru Nanak's B'day 17. Idu'l Zuha 18. Christmas Day 1st January 26th January 30th January 31st March 1st April 06th April 09th April 1st May 02nd May 15th August 2nd October 3rd October 14th October 21st October 09th November 24th November 21st December 25th December

17 The most important festivals of Hindi Divali (Dipiwali) 15th October Holi (Festival of color) 15th March Pongal (South India) 14th January Losar 1st February Pushkar Camel Fair (Rajasthan) November Kumbh Mela Dussehra (Durga Puja) back Known as the festival of lights , is celebrated with lots of lights and fireworks. Regionally different gods are honored (Rama in northern Italy, goddess Lakshim in Gujarat, goddess Kali in Bengal). The festival stands for the rebirth of humans. It is common to wear new clothes that day. (A colorful festival. The beginning of spring and the death of the demon Holika are celebrated. It is a festival of joy and hope. Dhuleti is the day when everything is bathed in color. Traditionally, this is the day after Holi , which gets its name from a sweet dessert. The festival lasts for three days. On the first and second day different gods are honored (of the rain and the sun). On the third day the cattle are adorned with flowers and colored powder. (Tibetan New year festival, which is mainly celebrated in Dharamsala among Tibetans and Buddhists from the Himalayas. The festival is celebrated for 12 days in the holy place Pushkar (Rajasthan). Thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy waters of the Pushkar Lake. It cattle and camels are traded and camel races are held. (The festival is celebrated every three years in one of the four holy cities Nasik, Ujjain, Haridwar or Prayag or Allahabad. All The Maha Kumbh Mela (great Kumbh Mela, next 2013) takes place for twelve years. The festival is celebrated across India. The victory of Rama over Ravana is made free.

18 The Id - Festivals of the Muslims Id-ul-Fitr (Ramazan Id) Id-ul-Asha (Bakr-Id) Id-i-Milad (Barah-wafat) With the new moon on the 9th month of the Muslim calendar year, the end of Ramzan will be (Ramadan) celebrated. It is the month the Quran was revealed. Muslims fast until sunset every day. The sufferings of Hazrat Ibrahim are celebrated, who was put to the test by Allah to sacrifice his best. He almost killed his son, and because God was gracious to him, all he had to do was sacrifice one ram. The Prophet was born on the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the third month of the Muslim calendar year. The day of his death falls on the same day. The word barah stands for the twelve days of the Prophet's illness. You can find a list of the respective public holidays under Note, many festivals have only regional significance. The currently valid list can be obtained, for example, from the local tourist offices. back

19 Dress code for men The usual business attire for men is a suit and tie. Because of the warm climate, even a long-sleeved shirt with a tie can be enough. Choose neutral colors and avoid bright colors. In the IT sector, the dress code is rather casual. Employees in T-shirts, jeans and sneakers are nothing unusual. As a guest, you should dress conservatively.

20 Traditional Indian clothing The kurta pajamas are a common sight on Indian streets. It is one of the most common men's clothing. The kurta is a very long, side slit shirt that is worn loosely. Together with the also very wide trousers, the suit is called Kurta Pajama.

21 Dress code for women Foreign women should wear a trouser suit or costume. The skirt must be covered with knees. The neckline of the blouse or the top should be closed high (do not choose a deep cleavage). A salwar suit is also considered appropriate work clothing. The wearing of Indian costumes by foreigners is understood as a special gesture of friendship.

22 Traditional clothing for Indian women The salwar kameez, also known as the Punjabi suit in some regions of India, is the classic piece of clothing used by Indian women alongside the sari. The sari (Hindi, f., स ड़, saṛī, English: saree) is an Indian piece of clothing. The wrap robe for women consists of a five to six meter long unsewn rectangular cloth, which at one end usually has a wide decorative border of a different color.

23 Greeting Namastè Traditional greeting in India is the placing of the palms on top of each other as if in prayer with or without the words 'Namaste' (nah-mas-tay) or 'Namaskar' (nah-maskar) and a slight bow. "I greet the divine part in you." or "The divine in me greets the divine in you. Namastè is a term from Sanskrit, the literary and scholarly language of ancient India. Source:

24 Other greetings Even if this is a greeting from the Hindus, it is also accepted by other groups. These groups in turn have their own greetings. The traditional greeting of the Muslims is Salaam-Wale-Kum and is answered with a Wale-kum-Salaam. The Sikhs traditionally greet each other with the words Sat-Siree-Akaal. Shaking hands is also accepted by western-oriented Indians and in the cities.

25 Dealing with Indian women Indians behave conservatively towards contact between the sexes. Shaking hands with women is not widely accepted. Only western-oriented Indian women will shake hands to greet you. Don't take the initiative yourself. It is customary to give priority to women and guests. A woman should never be approached on the street when she is alone. It is rude for you, as a businessman, to pay special attention to the host's wife.

26 Spatial behavior India is a culture rich in contacts. People do not avoid physical contact, they need it for communication. The distance between the interlocutors is much smaller in India than in most of the western industrialized countries. There is more body contact: from bumping into it to tapping on the shoulder.

27 Facial expressions, looks and gestures Conversations are loud and accompanied by strong gestures. Conversations are often interrupted and statements are underlined by facial expressions. Shaking your head or nodding your head during a conversation indicates attention, not necessarily consent. Likewise, too intense eye contact.

28 Rude Gestures It is considered rude and insulting to wave your finger (palm up) at people. When you wave someone over, hold your palm down and make a scooping motion with your fingers. Do not point the finder at other people. Use your whole hand or the palm of your hand, but never your left hand. Put your hands on your hips is seen as an aggressive gesture. Folded hands or hands in trouser pockets look arrogant to Indians.

29 Absolute no nos! The left hand is considered unclean. It should never be used for eating. The left hand must also not be offered in greeting. Never touch a child's head. It symbolizes the seat of the soul. Do not blow your nose in public and especially not at the table Feet are considered unclean in India. The soles of the feet should not point at or touch other people. Touching your foot is also not acceptable in India. The legs should therefore not be crossed.

30 Naming and salutation in India First name Praveen Middle name Chandra Family name Kulkarni The names are written according to western standards: first the first name, followed by the surname. Occasionally a middle name is used (e.g. 'Chandra', 'Kumar', 'Prasad'). Women take the name of their husbands after marriage. Mr. Kulkarni or Professor Kulkarni

31 Special features in the south of India Hometown Kamundari Father's name Ranganthan First name Gurumurthy Applies to the states of Andhra Pradesh (pronounced AP), Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. People don't have a surname in our sense. They bear the name of the father and the hometown or village. Women take on their husbands first name after marriage. K.R. Gurumurthy is Mr. Gurumurthy

32 Change in naming Title Dr. Lineage APJ Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen First name, last name Abdul Kalam Name of the incumbent Muslim President from Tamil Nadu in southern India Non-Hindi communities in southern India are increasingly adapting to the naming habits of Hindi (as exemplified by the) tendency of the south to adapt to the customs the rest of the country. Trend among educated working women to keep their maiden names after the wedding. Liberal North Indians occasionally do without the surname, as this stands for belonging to a caste and the position of the individual in society.


34 Indian clans and economic power Klans are a typical phenomenon in India. They are made up of Indians of the same religion and race. They are excellently organized informal networks that are interconnected all over India. The Nehru Gandhi clan has dominated politics in India since independence in 1947. Clans like the Tatas, Bajajs, Ambanis have a significant influence on large parts of the economy.

35 Indian hospitality Hospitality has a special tradition in Indian culture; the guest is the king. Expect private and social invitations. It is rude to decline an invitation outright. General invitations like this: Come by whenever you have time! are meant seriously. Announce your visit by phone. Dinner invitations start at 3 p.m., but guests won't arrive before 3 p.m. It can take two to three hours for the buffet to open. After dinner, the guests say goodbye.

36 The setting for business lunches A business lunch is preferred to dinner. Power breakfasts are becoming increasingly popular. Business lunches are usually organized in first class restaurants or hotels. In large cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai), the restaurants offer a wide range of different cuisines.

37 Eating culture and cleanliness Eating and drinking are closely linked to Indian traditions and religion. Inquire about your guest's eating habits. You should always offer vegetarian dishes as well, which must be served separately from meat dishes. Traditional Indian dishes are eaten with the right hand, i.e. with the thumb, index and middle finger of the right hand. The left hand is unclean and must not be used. Indians therefore wash their hands before and after eating, and occasionally between courses. Eating with cutlery is like making love through an interpreter

38 Beware of Meat Muslims do not eat pork and only meat that is halal. Hindus do not eat beef and some eat meat at all. Many Hindus fast one day a week. Chicken, lamb or fish are suitable for a non-vegetarian menu. Jains do not eat meat, fish, eggs, or vegetables that grow underground. Their first commandment is ahimsa, which is why they only eat during the day.

39 Be careful with alcohol! Alcohol is forbidden to the Muslims, the Sikhs and other Indian groups (note: Gujarat is a so-called dry state, no alcohol is served here). Traditionally, Indian women do not drink or smoke. Even guests who usually drink alcohol do without it at certain religious festivals. Always have non-alcoholic drinks ready. A change can be observed within major Indian cities.

40 Business meals Most Indian dishes are very spicy for the western palate. The sharpness increases from north to south. When you receive a dinner invitation from a business partner, it is common to arrive a few minutes later. Women can issue invitations without embarrassing male guests. Your male guest might insist on taking the bill. You can decline this offer. A moderate tip of around 10% is expected.

41 Show style You should always express gratitude and praise to the host for the good food. A simple thank you after dinner is considered an inappropriate and impersonal gesture. Instead, you should return the invitation to dinner. In doing so, you signal your appreciation to the host.

42 Planning invitations The written invitation should be given in good time. Indians do not answer phrases such as (R.S.V.P.). Call each guest personally before the reception. Guests stay away even if you have confirmed their attendance beforehand. Remain friendly and accommodating. It is advisable to arrange a buffet. Numerous catering companies, hotels and restaurants offer this service.

43 Welcome Topics to Talk Politics, Cricket, Movies and Culture, and India's Economic Reforms. India opened its economy in Almost all Indians have their own opinion on the economic policy of their country. It is worth investing a little time in the preparation of these topics (e.g. via the Indian press on the Internet. They can be very helpful in forming consensus to strengthen your own acceptance.

44 On Politics Indians are enthusiastic about political discussions and conversations about Indian politicians. The level of political awareness among Indians is astonishingly high. With 600 million voting citizens, India is the world's largest parliamentary democracy. Foreigners without special political knowledge are advised to behave cautiously in political discussions.

45 Cricket Cricket is a national pastime in India. Many Indians are very passionate cricket fans India has produced some world-class cricket stars (e.g. Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, nickname Sunny) and. Cricket stars are celebrated as idols. back

46 Bollywood India's film industry India is now the world's largest film producer with around 800 to films per year. In Bollywood alone, around 250 films are made every year. There are more than movie theaters in India. Famous actors provide the Indians with plenty of material for discussion and gossip (e.g. Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Nargis, Nutan, Waheeda Rehman, Meena Kumari). Many actors can be elected as members of the state or federal parliaments. back

47 Astrology Indian society is characterized by a rigid class division that makes it almost impossible to break out of the caste into which one was born. Many Indians believe in predestination, which allows them little free choice and hardly any will of their own. Over 60 percent of the population regularly consult an astrologer. With their help from astrology, they try to explore the future and avert impending disaster. Astrologer is an honorable profession in India. Fortune tellers like Anand Shankar Vyas from Ushain are people of power and influence.

48 Not recommended topics Religion and the conflict with Pakistan (Kashmir) Poverty or the great gap between rich and poor Even if the initiative comes from Indians! Do not offend an Indian's national pride by giving curious impressions about the sacred cows or the arranged marriage. Suggestive topics should be strictly avoided even in informal groups.

49 Business culture and middlemen As in India as a whole, the business culture in India is very diverse and heterogeneous (state-owned companies, IT industry, Bollywood). A large number of Indian companies are family businesses. You can do without middlemen; negotiate directly. Be careful when Indians offer themselves as intermediaries. Establish your own contacts!

50 Hierarchy and vertical structures Hierarchies, age, experience and authority are strictly respected in India. Orders from superiors are not questioned. It is advisable to start as high up in the hierarchy as possible when choosing the person to talk to. Women in leadership positions are a comparatively new image in Indian business life; show assertiveness. First, the boss is always right. Second, the boss is never wrong. Third, if there are doubts, turn back to rule number one or two. (Indian proverb)

51 Respect is the top priority Indians get up as soon as the boss enters the room. You are very careful not to exceed your competencies. The friendliness of the supervisor towards the workforce is rated as a weakness. Intense eye contact is unusual. People of lower rank have to look away from those of higher rank. There is no small talk with the servants (housekeeping or cleaning staff), beggars will ignore them.

52 The virtues of German managers are not in demand! The German manager impersonally abruptly tied directly and negatively affect the business relationship.

53 Business means friendship The pace of business meetings is comparatively relaxed. Before the negotiations, there is the mutual getting to know each other, which should not be misunderstood as superficial small talk. Indian business partners want to get to know people and like to talk about private life and family. It is customary to introduce the family to the business partner. Compliments and expressions of mutual appreciation are common. There is no clear separation between private and business life.

54 The style of conversation is indirect. Indians rarely express disagreements in a direct way. The same applies to rejection and objection. Open disagreements are seen as an affront or aggressive behavior. Instead of no, you will hear a maybe. When an Indian says yes, he means: yes or maybe or just I understood. If an Indian says no problem, then you should be careful. Courtesy is more important than truth in India

55 At the beginning of the negotiation, tea / coffee or small snacks are often served. It is good form to accept these offers. Do not be confused by disruptions or a change of topic (polychronic time perception). Be prepared for questions that, in your opinion, are not directly related to the topic (holistic thought structures). In general, Indians are willing to take a higher risk if they trust the intentions of their business partner. Your credibility and trustworthiness determine whether a business deal is concluded.

56 Flexibility at the negotiating table Indians expect and appreciate flexibility in negotiations. Haggling over the price or further concessions is normal in India. It is advisable to provide scope for negotiations in advance so that your business partner can achieve success in negotiations. A firm offer with no room for negotiation is perceived as an unyielding point of view. Do not give in too early or break off negotiations hastily, Indians need time. Shrewdness is an expression of Indian business acumen.

57 Minutes of the Meeting Verbal commitments are not binding. You can achieve legally binding only with a signed protocol. Insist on a record of the conversation on the same day. You can bridge the time with a business lunch. Contracts should contain sunset rules in order to limit exit costs in the event of poor performance by the Indian partner. A lack of sunset regulations can block your company for years.

58 Rejection in Indian Even if the deal has long since broken, an Indian business partner will say: everything is okay or no problem. A project does not materialize if your business partner is silent or smiles and skillfully changes the subject. If you push too hard, the person you are talking to might say yes and still mean no. Even if your Indian business partner signs the contract, he might want to renegotiate next week. Contracts mean nothing if the chemistry isn't right.