SALIENT FEATURES OF INDIAN
CULTURE AND ITS IMPACT ON
• Culture is the collective programming of the mind
which distinguishes the members of one human group
• Culture can also be defined as pattern of basic
assumptions-invented,discovered or developed by a
given group as it learns to cope with its problems of
external adaptations and internal integeration.
• “A system of values and norms that are shared among
a group of people and that when taken together
constitute a design for living.”
MODEL OF ORGANIZATIONAL
• Distribution and concentration of power can
be one basis of classifying cultures . From this
view point it can be of following types:
Indian culture v/s Western
Traditionally Indian culture is characterized by family
•Western culture believes in a nuclear family system.
• These characteristics have as strong influence on the
thinking of the people.
•It influence the organization and managers belonging
to that culture.
BASIS INDIAN CULTURE WESTERN
Belief in faith
Strong believers Believes in hard
work and effort
Strong believer Believes in
BASIS INDIAN CULTURE WESTERN
clothes in thing
Care of old
expected to take
Old parents are
not cared for
ceremony is held
Relegated to old
IMPACT OF CULTURE
• It affects:
• Consumer behavior
• Local demand
• Buying decisions
• Brand Image
• Culture influences managerial styles and
• Culture affects the nature of business
IMPORTANCE OF CULTURE
• Knowledge of Native culture is useful when dealing
with home markets but it has little value when
dealing in foreign markets.
• Culture acts as a hidden entry barrier, but it can be
overcome with cultural sensitivity, hard work &
• Managerial behaviour is driven by his/her cultural
In such a richly diverse and complex country as India
it is difficult to impart generic conclusions that can be
used by those doing business there. Regionalism,
religion, language and caste are all factors that need
to be taken into account when doing business in
India. Behaviour, etiquette and approach are all
modified depending on whom you are addressing and
the context in which they are being addressed.
• Different states in India each have different
official languages. Central government only
recognises Hindi as the official language of India.
However, when doing business in India, English is
the language of international commerce.
• Of all the cultural influences that most impact
Indian business culture, hierarchy plays a key
role. With its roots in Hinduism and the caste
system, Indian society operates within a
framework of strict hierarchy that defines
people's roles, status and social order.
• The aim of business is the same everywhere, but
the way to do it varies across countries.
• Global Managers must be able to handle Culture
• Similar business situations in different countries
does not imply similar opportunities. Alcohol in
Meeting and Greeting
• When doing business in India, meeting etiquette
requires a handshake. However, Indians themselves
use the Namaste. This is where the palms are
brought together at chest level with a slight bow of
the head. Using the Namaste is a sign of your
understanding of Indian etiquette.
• Building Relationships
• Doing business in India involves building relationships.
Indians only deal favourably with those they know and
trust - even at the expense of lucrative deals. It is vital
that a good working relationship is founded with any
prospective partner. This must take place on a business
level, i.e. demonstrating strong business acumen, and
at a personal level, i.e. relating to your partner and
exhibiting the positive traits of trustworthiness and
• Meetings and Negotiations
• Meetings should be arranged well in advance. This should
be done in writing and confirmed by phone. Avoid
meetings near or on national holidays such as
Independence Day, Diwali or either of the two Aids. Avoid
the heat by scheduling between October and March.
• Punctuality is expected, although being 10 minutes late will
not have disastrous consequences. Flexibility is paramount.
Family responsibilities take precedence over business so
last minute cancellations are possible when doing business.
• If your business dealings in India involve
negotiations, always bear in mind that they can
be slow. If trust has not yet been established then
concentrate efforts on building a rapport.
Decisions are always made at the highest level.
Indians do not base their business decisions
solely on statistics, empirical data and exciting
PowerPoint presentations. They use intuition,
feeling and faith to guide them. Always exercise
patience, show good character and never exhibit
frustration or anger
• Mumbai’s famous Marine drive glittered as thousands of cars and
motorcycles sped homeward. A loudspeaker blared Bollywood film
music as though competing with the chaotic din of traffic. Across
the road, people strolled along a promenade separating Marine
drive from the Arabian Sea, apparently unconcerned by the loud
noises. A light, salty breeze caressed the walkers as they relaxed
after a long day’s work.
• Mike absently watched the people on the promenade from the
balcony of his hotel room. He had gone out for a walk on each of his
last six nights in Mumbai. But today he could not get himself to
leave the room. His hopes for starting a new joint venture in India,
which had soared high only a week ago, had now come crashing
down. His future in this strange, exotic land suddenly seemed bleak.
He did not understand what had happened. He was utterly
The Indian economy was booming, and held great
promise for the future. Several multi-national firms
had already set up offices across the country,
encouraged by the opening up of India’s foreign
policies. Mike and his American associates had been
excited at the prospect of starting a joint venture with
a particular reputed Indian firm. Initial negotiations
had been positive, but slowly misunderstandings and
other problems crept up. Mike had attended several
meetings in the past week, expecting to have a
finalized deal by that morning. But his Indian
counterparts did not appear to feel it was important
to close the deal as soon as possible.
They had had long, rambling discussions about the
project’s objectives and feasibility without making any
solid decisions. Even the few decisions that had been
reached were not concrete as approval had to be sought
from senior colleagues.
An exasperated Mike tried to hasten the process as many
other issues remained to be addressed, but the Indians
felt that he was only interested in completing the deal,
and not in examining the finer aspects of the venture. As
a result, they began to question his sincerity and ability.
His aggressive manner made him appear rude and
tactless. His way of addressing them informally also made
them feel disrespected and uncomfortable. The bottom
line was that they did not trust him.
In turn, trust also became an issue at Mike’s end as he
began to doubt the Indians’ capability of seeing a
project through to completion within the deadline.
Consequently, he was uncertain if they would make
good business partners.