Indian Business Culture

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India Business Etiquette | Business Culture India | Globig

No notes for slide. Know more about Indian Business Culture 1. Taj Mahal, Agra 5. The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab 6.

Largest Democracy in the World Dr. Women are free in every aspect No religious ceremony is held without wife. Women given respect in traditional sense Respect for Women Old parents are not cared for. Sons are expected to take care of their Parents.

Business Mentality

Care of Old People Fashionable clothes the in thing No body exposures. Considered obscene. Mixing Business with Pleasure In general, Indians tend to take larger risks with a person whose intentions they trust.

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Thus, one's credibility and trustworthiness are critical in negotiating a deal. It is courteous to accept the offer. In the Indian psyche, reality can be understood only in its overall context. Knowing the personal, social and historical contexts [of people, events, ideas, etc. Therefore, one should be prepared for questions and enquiries, which may not seem to be directly related to the subject.

Business in India: The Secrets of Indian Business Culture

To people coming from more deductive cultures, this behavior often appears to indicate a lack of focus and digression. Openness to a new idea depends not only on its quality, but also on its source and endorsement. That is, information about who else has implemented it or who has proposed it has a major influence on the decision about a new idea. In making a proposal, you must include such details accordingly. It is necessary, however, to send a more detailed proposal in advance. Often, the details of the proposal are vetted by some middle-level executive, who will then brief the superior about them.

Indian negotiators expect and value flexibility in negotiation.

Infographic: Top 10 insights to understanding Indian business etiquette

Therefore, sometimes a straightforward offer may be perceived as a rigid stand. It is always advisable to build some buffers in one's initial offer, which allow for bargaining later. Instead, when differences arise, they may circumvent them by statements such as 'we will discuss this later' or 'I will have to check with others about this.

Making a decision, in Indian organizations, is often a long-drawn out process. This is not only because of the bureaucratic nature of many Indian organizations, but also because a decision may have to be ratified by people who may not be present at the negotiating table. Arriving at a meeting 15 minutes after the official starting time is not rare. It is not that people mean to be rude or feel uninvolved, it is just their working style that being strictly on time is not seen as necessary.

This also should be taken into account when setting deadlines for a project, as Indian people may have different perspectives regarding deadlines compared to western people. Appointments It is uncommon to set up an appointment to meet a colleague working in the same organisation, unless that person is on senior management level. People simply stop by and they expect you to be available for a meeting.

Appointments for commercial purposes should not be scheduled too far in the future, since there are high chances that they can be cancelled. Dress Code The Indian dress-code is relatively casual.

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Male employees will wear trousers and collared shirts to work. A jacket and a tie can be added when needed or for the more senior managers. Often female workers wear a colourful salwar kameez. In India, this gesture is a visual way to communicate to someone that they understand what you are saying or that they agree with you.


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India is composed of a multitude of religions coexisting though not always peacefully side by side. The dominant religion is Hinduism, but significant numbers of Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Jews, and Christians also live in the country. In India, religion is a key aspect of life, and must be respected in order to maintain successful business relationships. Despite the elimination of the traditional caste system that derives from Hinduism, casteist attitudes still remain and aspects of the system still influence the hierarchical structure of business practices in India today.

Holidays in India come in all shapes and sizes, and vary in terms of religion and region. They are officially categorized as: gazetted, restricted or non-gazetted, as well as state and union territory. Gazetted holidays are mandatory, restricted holidays are optional, and state and union territory holidays are local.

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It is important to check online — if there are any conflicts — before scheduling appointments. The three largest national holidays in India are:. More than Eid ul-Fitr Eid is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Gifts are given — new clothes are traditional — and it is also common for children to be given small amounts of money Eidi by their elders.


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After the Eid prayers, it is common for families to visit graveyards and pray for the salvation of departed family members. Known as the Festival of Lights, this national holiday typically occurs between the end of September and end of November. It is common for people to light small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil within an individual.

During Diwali, many people wear new clothes and share sweets and other snacks with each other. Some Indian businesses may start their financial year by opening new accounting books on the first day of Diwali for good luck in the following year. In Hinduism, Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom, Ayodhya, after defeating the demon king, Ravana, the ruler of Lanka, in the epic story of Ramayana. It also celebrates the slaying of the demon king, Narakasura, by Lord Krishna. Both stories signify the victory of good over evil.

In some ways, with all its noise and firecrackers and color, it is not dissimilar to the Indian version of the Chinese New Year. It also takes place when India is cooling down after its long hot summer and monsoonal seasons. That everything happens for a reason — is a significant aspect of the culture and decision making process of many Indians. Indians have a strong sense of community, and define group orientation through a hierarchical structure.

Language and communication

Given this, interpersonal relationships are critical in business practices. It is not uncommon for Indians to ask questions, which can be seen as overly personal or intrusive. There are more than 13, movie theaters in the country, and many Indians also keep abreast of the latest movies through TV or live streaming as the smartphone penetration in the country deepens. Like cricket players, film stars are considered national icons, and are the subject of a lot of social discussion and gossip.

Given that religious practices and rituals play a major role in Indian life, a genuine inquiry into a certain religious practice will normally be met with an enthusiastic response. Some educated Indians view this as a failure on the part of politicians on both sides. However, many Indians can be very biased, emotional, and one-sided when discussing Pakistan.

In general, it is advisable to avoid discussing Pakistan-India issues. In addition, it is hard to not notice the large rich-poor divide that exists in India. It is common to find wealthy, extravagant homes next to sprawling slums. Some Indians may be sensitive and defensive about the poverty as they are very proud of the economic growth the country has witnessed in recent decades.


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It is recommended to use last names upon meeting someone for the first time and mention any higher academic or other titles. The influences of Hinduism and the ancient tradition of the caste system have created a culture that emphasizes established hierarchical relationships. Indians are quite conscious and aware of social order and their status relative to other people, whether they are family, friends, or strangers.

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