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Doing Business in India For Dummies® by Ranjini Manian

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Chapter 15. Being on Your Best Behavior: Indian Etiquette

In This Chapter

  • Making the right impression

  • Speaking with your colleagues

  • Giving and receiving gifts and hospitality

  • Avoiding mealtime faux pas

  • Respecting the religious side of business

  • Managing your Indian employees

With its unique, vibrant culture, India is a world to itself. It’s a country that has sent satellites into space, but it’s also a country in which you may have to wait for days to get your phone line fixed. To do business in India, you need to set aside your usual expectations and instead try to work out what’s reasonable in the Indian context. You may encounter different concepts of time, different procedures for firing employees, and even different ways of conducting yourself at the dinner table (you can forget all those lessons about which fork to use). Bottom line: Patience and acceptance are important tools for doing business in India.

Understanding the unwritten codes of etiquette and decorum in India is vital to the success of your business venture. Chapter 14 helps you get a grip on how relationships in India work. This chapter shows you how that sense of culture plays out in everyday situations. It explains how to behave appropriately with Indians in various business and social settings. And as you figure out how to mind your manners, this chapter also guides you in how to maintain your patience and be accepting of a new, fascinating culture.

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