As the cosmopolitan capital city of the Republic of India, New Delhi is the political, commercial and financial centre of the country. The vast amount of workforce available combined with the fact that English is one of India’s official languages have made New Delhi an excellent destination for doing business. Particular sectors which are attracting an increasing amount of foreign investment include tourism, banking, telecommunications, media and IT.
Although the sheer size and often perceived chaos of the city can put some people off, there are many great appeals to the foreign visitor. The opportunity to discover some of the sights of New Delhi as well as making profitable business deals should not be ignored.
New Delhi’s business practices differ from those in the UK in many areas ranging from punctuality to business etiquette. According to The Economist’s recent podcast, people in New Delhi don’t make much of a difference between working hours and non-working hours even during evenings and weekends. They therefore tend to become quite sociable and will want to get to know you and ask you lots of questions about your life. On a client basis, however, Indians do not tend to purposely go out and socialise with their clients and so there usually aren’t many organised events such as going to watch the cricket to strengthen business contacts.
New Delhi is known for its flexible attitude to time so business people will be forgiving if you arrive a few minutes late. Government officials may arrive late for meetings or cancel at the last minute but they will not normally tolerate you arriving late as they see this as disrespectful.
It is common for business meetings in New Delhi to start with small talk so your Indian hosts have the opportunity to get to know you. They will usually ask questions about your family or about your views of India. Remember not to delve too much into Hindi-Muslim relations or into the topic of castes which is a fixation for foreigners that Indians may find irritating.
Once in a meeting in New Delhi make sure you are dealing with the right person because your Indian counterparts will often defer a decision if the key decision-maker is not present. When working with Indian government in New Delhi, you may find that decisions are rarely reached in meetings and are instead made afterwards or even before the meeting.
In order for companies to take full advantage of New Delhi’s fast growth and promising economic development without compromising profitable deals, it is vital to prepare short-term visitors and international assignees for their experience of doing business in India.
Communicaid’s Cultural Awareness Training India courses such as Doing Business in India are especially designed to give you and your company the in-depth knowledge required to interact in the Indian business world as successfully as possible. Communicaid’s expert trainers will tailor the course content to your needs and give you the tools necessary to maximise your business endeavours in India, giving you the advantage you will need to accomplish your goals in India’s fascinating capital New Delhi.
© Communicaid Group Ltd. 2010