Working with foreign people is for sure a great thing, as you have the opportunity to get in touch with different cultures and ways of life. From such an opportunity, you can learn so much about the best features of cultures that belong to very distant places; sometimes halfway around the world.
Dealing With People From Different Cultures
At the same time, you have to keep open-minded and favorable to accept different people’s habits and customs, especially if you have to meet foreign clients or partners for business purposes. Normally, having an interpreter with you can help you to avoid embarrassing behaviors that might show you up and ruin your reputation.
Let’s take a practical example: when dealing with Japanese people is always better not to shake their hands (unless they show you they want to do it) but bowing your head just slightly as a sign of greeting and respect. Another example, if your clients or partners are Indians, make sure to understand their position in their company’s hierarchy as this is a fundamental aspect of the business.
Indians – Things You Have To Know
So, every country in this world has its cultural roots, traditions, and way of life. You can’t change this immensely large ensemble of elements just because you belong to a completely different culture. That’s pretty obvious. All you have and can do is to learn how to behave with people from a specific country.
Indians have a high consideration of social relationships in business, which means for you to have to understand their large and diversified culture. As we’ve mentioned a few lines above, business is made of social hierarchy, as well. And every company member comes with their specific role in that hierarchy. However, most young Indians seem to be more likely to overcome such strict social rules and hierarchy issues.
They can access the internet and get acquainted with foreign social models, in particular, western models. You can find young Indians eating hot dogs at a fast-food chain or you can find them playing video games and look for a guide to online sports betting in India on sportbettingindia.com. The sports environment is currently expanding among Indians and they need to have a verified and licensed sports venue online.
Our Tips For Doing Business With Indians
If you are going to meet Indian clients or partners, make sure to know the following facts so you’ll be able to start great relationships in business:
1. Many languages, cultures and religions
Indians are not all the same. They have different languages, religions, and cultures. So, tip #1 is to avoid generalizing about Indian people and thinking they behave similarly. Try to understand the huge difference between rural areas and large metro areas. In particular, Indians who come from modern cities seem more likely to welcome foreign models, they have higher social mobility, and they accept contemporary influences from overseas.
2. Ancestral barriers
Although the above mentioned mental opening towards western and modern models, castes still remain the most important element to define people. It’s an old and strong stereotype that still resists the breakdown of ancestral barriers in the Indian culture. Consider that castes still remain a factor that influences marriages and politics.
3. Style and class matter
Your Indian clients and partners will appreciate you much more if you look elegant and wealthy. So, pick good clothing, offer them a meal in a refined restaurant, or organize a meeting in a high-class hotel. Every sign of wealth helps you attract their attention to your company.
4. Seemingly ‘intrusive’ questions may emerge
Starting a conversation with Indian people might sound a little complicated as Indians tend to be indirect when communicating. However, they can be extremely direct when asking for questions. Sometimes, they might even sound “intrusive” with their questions. Be prepared and don’t stare at them if they ask you what qualifications you have or how much money you earn. It’s the typical way Indians approach people, nothing too personal.
5. Corporate hierarchy matters
We’ve already talked about hierarchy in companies. Know that Indians place big value on hierarchy, so they expect to deal with people who are on a similar seniority level in their company. This means that if you have to deal with high-ranking partners, you can’t be a just-hired employee. You have to be as highly ranked in your company.
6. Greetings and addressing people
Indians use a formal language that might sound old-fashioned to a native English speaker’s ears. You don’t have to be as formal, though. When you meet your Indian guests, you can shake their hands but avoid appearing shocked if they greet you bowing both hands similar to when praying.
Try to be social and to gain your Indian counterpart’s trust being polite, available to answer all their questions, and accepting eventual invitations by their side.
Interesting related article: “What is Organizational Culture?“