BNR: business in India

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On Feb. 9, 2023, I co-hosted BNR radio as “World Conqueror,” to provide cultural explanations on doing business in India. Listen back to the broadcast here.

Many people in India see education as the most important route to break the existing hierarchy and climb the socioeconomic ladder. Consequently, parents make sure their children receive a good education and India’s middle class is growing rapidly. ‘The Indian’  always wants to get ahead. In this sense, on the one hand, there is some performance pressure. But at the same time, there is also a ‘let go’ mentality: if things don’t work out for a while to gmove ahead, that’s what it is, and people look at others with surprise when stress or tension arises as a result.

Finding a business partner in a foreign culture is always a challenge and sometimes goes wrong. Building a personal relationship is often a prerequisite. Establishing relationships with the entire network is also important: can you inquire discreetly?

It is known that “the Dutchman” communicates very directly, which differs greatly in India. What to do when a yes is not a yes and a no is not a no? Is it possible to still decipher a firmly packaged message and how do you do that? Is it possible to experience it as respectful, rather than getting the unpleasant feeling that you are being tricked or kept in the dark?

Listen to the broadcast:

The photo accompanying this post is from some time back, at Infosys in Hyderabad.