New Delhi, India
Republic of India is situated in southern Asia and it is a member of Commonwealth of Nations. Most communities in New Delhi, India practices traditional caste system. There are more than fourteen languages in India but Hindu and English are official business languages for communication. Besides, there are approximately three hundred minor languages spoken in New Delhi (Cambie, & Ooi, 2009). More than 80 percent of Indians practice Hindu religion, 12 percent – Islam and 2 percent – Christianity while other minor religions make up 5 percent.. Men are allowed to wear a suit and tie for business while women are expected to wear pantsuits (Gesteland, & Gesteland, 2010). In addition, men can dress casually in short-sleeved shirts while women are expected to keep their legs, chest and upper arms covered all the time (Messner, 2009).
The Indian culture prohibits touching someone’s head because the head is considered the seat of the soul. In addition, gesturing an individual with the palm up is considered as an insult (Cambie, & Ooi, 2009). Besides, Indians prefer business lunches as compared to dinners. Hindu culture does not allow eating beef while Muslims do not feed on pork (Gesteland, & Gesteland, 2010). In addition, at the end of a meal, an individual should not thank the hosts. Indians consider the word “Thank you” a type of payment hence it is abusive.
Indians do not open gifts when the giver is present but instead wait for the giver to leave before opening a wrapped gift. They also consider feet as unclean. Therefore, an individual should not point a feet at a person (Gesteland, & Gesteland, 2010). In case someone steps or his/her shoe touches an Indian, he/she should apologize.
In most cases, Indians rarely use the word “No” because they think that it is offensive, impolite and causes difficulties in existing relationships (Cambie, & Ooi, 2009). In this regard, when there is disagreement, they express vagueness and absence of commitment. In business, the visitor is likely to get responses such as “We’ll try” or “Yes, but it may prove difficult.” This is likely to mean ‘no’. One should be cautious of Indians’ relationships because it is difficult to get their contacts (Gesteland, & Gesteland, 2010). In case a visitor forces Indian contacts to be more direct, they are likely to feel uncomfortable and they are frightened away.
It is very crucial that when asking questions they should be specific and to the point, for instance, if someone asks, “We are okay with our meeting on Monday, aren’t we?” The response is likely to be ‘Yes’ but they mean ‘No’ (Cambie, & Ooi, 2009). Therefore, the question could be asked in better way such as “Could you tell me which day we can have our meeting?” Additionally, an individual should never refuse an invitation directly (Messner, 2009). Instead, he/she should use vague languages such as “I will try” since it is an acceptable refusal.
Moreover, many Indians have strong family’s ties. In this respect, they are likely to inquire about the foreigner’s family background in many meetings (Messner, 2009). Talks about families are considered a civilized behavior and a meaningful foundation to develop strong relations and dialogue later in the proceedings (Cambie, & Ooi, 2009). Further, Indians are highly cautious to business people who are over-eager to move things onto an empirical business basis too quickly (Gesteland, & Gesteland, 2010).
Cambie, S., & Ooi, Y. (2009). International communications strategy (1st ed.). London: Kogan Page.
Gesteland, R., & Gesteland, M. (2010). India (1st ed.). [Frederiksberg]: Copenhagen Business School Press.
Messner, W. (2009). Working with India (1st ed.). Berlin: Springer.