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INDIA BUSINESS CULTURE AND ETIQUETTE GUIDE provides over 100 tips on etiquette and protocol, negotiation strategies, verbal and non-verbal communication in India.

INDIA BUSINESS CULTURE AND ETIQUETTE GUIDE provides over 100 tips on etiquette and protocol, negotiation strategies, verbal and non-verbal communication in India.

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  • 2. 1. Greetings 2. Names and Titles 3. Business Meetings 4. Conversation Topics 5. Negotiation 6. Business Entertaining 7. Gift giving 8. Practical Advice BUSINESS ETIQUETTE IN INDIA Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
  • 3. GREETINGS The traditional greeting consists of placing your palms together with the thumbs pointing up under the chin, a slight lowering of the head and uttering Namaste (pronounced na-mas-tai), meaning “I am at your disposal”. With foreign negotiators the most usual greeting is a gentle handshake when you introduce yourself and leave. Only westernised Indians shake hands with the opposite sex. Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
  • 4. Indians use the first letter of their father’s name before their first name. For example, in the name R. Chibalratti, “R” means that the father’s name begins with this letter (for example, Rajam or Rama) and Chibalratti is the person’s first name. The father’s full name and the first name must be written in legal documents. Nevertheless, for everyday use, long names are shortened. Thus, Mr R. Chibalratti can be called Mr Chibal or Mr Ratti. First names are only used when there is a personal relationship. NAMES AND TITLES Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
  • 5. The atmosphere of the meetings is formal. You should aim to be reserved and controlled. Emotional arguments or attitudes are frowned upon. Nonetheless, once the relationship has reached a certain level of trust the “sentimental factor” is indeed important for doing business. Harmony among the parties is essential for successful negotiation. The use of aggressive tactics, confrontation or pressurising to reach a decision is counterproductive. The best time to arrange appointments with Indian managers is before or after lunch (at 11:00 or 16:00). BUSINESS MEETINGS Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
  • 6. At the beginning of the meeting they usually offer tea or refreshments. The custom is to reject the first time and accept the second or third time. Rejecting the drink can be counterproductive. You should drink slowly if you do not want another drink. In conversation you should avoid topics about poverty, religion or relations with neighbouring Pakistan. Talking about the climate is not a good choice either because it is usually very hot and humid. Favourite topics are: art, life in other countries and the cinema (India is the world’s largest producer of films). CONVERSATION TOPICS Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
  • 7. Negotiations must be held at the highest level. The business culture is very hierarchical. Middle managers do not take decisions, although they steer proposals and give advice about them. The negotiation process is slow. You should give information gradually. There will be several meetings before the most important aspects are negotiated. Indian negotiators never give a straight “no” because they consider it impolite to do so. Instead they evade the issue, use the expression “we’ll try” or try to prolong the negotiations. NEGOTIATION Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
  • 8. Indians usually arrive late for social events and dinners. Before dinner they devote a long time to apéritifs and drinks (especially whisky). The after-dinner session does not exist. When they have finished eating they get up from the table. The local saying “Indian eaten, Indian gone” expresses this very well. Menus are usually vegetarian. Hindus do not eat beef because the cow is sacred. BUSINESS ENTERTAINING Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
  • 9. At the first meeting you do not need to give gifts. Later on or when the deal is concluded, a bottle of whisky, a bright coloured tie or a box of spices (saffron is much appreciated) can be good choices. You should also be careful when giving alcoholic drinks since in some states there are restrictions for religious reasons or they are banned for example at election time. Presents must not be wrapped in white or black paper since these colours are associated with death. They must not be opened in the presence of the person who gives them. GIFT GIVING Business Culture & Etiquette Guides
  • 10. To obtain the Indian Business Culture Guide with more than 100 tips about etiquette and protocol, verbal and non-verbal communication, negotiation strategies, etc., clic on: Indian Business Culture and Etiquette Guide To obtain Business Culture Guides in other countries clic on: Business Culture and Etiquette Guides in 70 countries PRACTICAL ADVICE Business Culture & Etiquette Guides