Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An interesting view of doing business in India

Stephen Manallack in The Age Why the Brits are better than us in doing business in India:
"British missions often include some element of philanthropy, while our own record has been patchy - some philanthropy but not every time. The Indian business leaders these missions meet have built generosity into their personal and business life - typically they rate people issues and community above share price as priorities - and choose to do business with others who share their view.
Ratan Tata, who recently stepped down as chairman of Tata Group, India's biggest conglomerate, summed up this generosity: ''Some foreign investors accuse us of being unfair to shareholders by using our resources for community development. Yes, this is money that could have made for dividend payouts, but it also is money that's uplifting and improving the quality of life of people in the rural areas where we operate and work. We owe them that.''
Although we see the British as formal and stuffy, in India they show the capacity to go with the flow and quickly tune in to ''Indian time'' and the flexibility that requires - while it is true that too many Australian missions fill their days with appointments and reduce flexibility.
Another adaptation that works well for the British missions is their culturally acquired sense of diplomacy and politeness, which they take to higher levels in India. The Indian culture is one that is often offended or at least misunderstands blunt communication - a challenge for our cultural background."

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