Business in India: The Secrets of Indian Business Culture

Business in India: The Secrets of Indian Business Culture


Hey this is Petra with BoundaryLess,
helping you to unleash your potential and make a difference across the globe.
And I’m very excited to have a very special guest with me here today.
Zubin Rashid is a well-known motivational speaker, author of four
books and an international consultant. In the last decade, Zubin has coached and
trained over 10,000 executives and professionals at every level, in
professional and business skills and practices. He is also one of India’s
foremost experts on public speaking and has been featured in various newspapers
magazines and other media including the Telegraph and The Statesman. As he likes
to say, his mission in life is to spread the light of empowerment through his
motivational approach. Hey! Come in, come in. Zubin I am so excited
to have you here today. So you got used to the way how we greet in here, but
how that would be different from the way how you greet in India? Okay so in India
it would be very very different, I mean this is not how you would greet, so there
are two perspectives here, one is socially, how would you be greeting, so
socially, generally how we greet would be namaste, that’s the standard greeting
really, but if you talk about offices and workplaces, it’s not namaste, it’s simply
a shake of hands and you say hello. I know you work internationally, you’ve
been living in England for several years, so what were some cultural
misunderstandings you’ve experienced? Well, quite a few, but I can tell you one of
the earliest misunderstandings that I had faced, so let me tell you a story if
you find that something, so I was going to office, and I was walking to
office, and as I was walking I saw from the other side, I could see that there
was a lady walking a dog and as we approached each other, we happen to make
eye contact and for me it was a shock when she smiled at me and I didn’t know
what to say so I was just very shocked, I give half a smile and I just carried on.
But once we crossed and I was on my way I was absolutely elated. Why? Because in
India what we say in Hindi is Hasee Toh Phasee so Hasee Toh Phasee means that if
a girl has smiled at me, it means, well, she likes me, maybe she just loves me. So
I was excited, I went to office and I could hardly work the next day. I
purposely left home at the same time I had that intention that I should meet
her so I was again walking and luckily she was a disciplined
lady and she was walking her dog again and we again cross each other, we made eye
contact and she smiled again. And what did I do,
I gave back the best smile and, and that day, I went to office and I just couldn’t
work, so my colleagues asked me what’s wrong. Why are you not working? Something must
be wrong. And I said, well and I just generated the incident, I said you know, Hasee Toh Phasee, and then my colleagues started laughing, falling off their
chairs and I was worried what happened? And I asked, why are you laughing, and
they said, in England when you meet someone and make eye contact, even with
an unknown person on the street, it’s good etiquette to smile. And my heart
broke completely. So what I’ve learned from I mean at that point in
time I was too grief-stricken to react, but later I realized that we really
need to understand cultures as there could be miscommunications. But let me
tell you the last part of the story. I learn really fast so I learned the
culture of UK, of England and then after a year of working in UK, I went back to
India and one day I was walking down the street and there was a lady walking from
the other side and he made eye contact and I smiled and she gave me the worst
look I’ve ever got from a lady. In India you don’t do that, that’s the
other side of that and I by that I knew I came back to a different culture, I need to
change. A reverse culture shock. Yeah okay cool let’s take it to the rooftop. Oh okay okay.
So let’s take it back to the Indian culture, so what might surprise a
foreigner coming to work in India? Okay that’s an interesting question,
there could be a lot of surprises but let me tell you about the most important
aspect of Indian culture. So it might appear to be something
very social or something very personal but it applies to work as well and that
point is that in India the Sanskrit phrase which is atithi devo bhava, so atithi devo bhava means guests are gods guests are like gods, yeah so what
happens is even if you work here say in one of the countries in Europe and
you go to India and you will find that people are treating you like God, yep
they are paying lot of attention and the surprising part for people from Europe
would be if you’ve never been to India you’ll find that that doesn’t stop when
the workday ends, it continues after that, so we as Indians we really like to make
people happy and treat them, take them to places, you know we would find that the
the whole attitude a willpower continues after work so they might even invite you
to their homes and if you say no, they would be disappointed if you say yes, you
have a tough time, why, because then you’ll have a lot of food cooked and
everything will be served to you and if the lady of the house is doing that then
well, you’d be told to eat and eat and eat, eat a lot, no, I mean that’s not that
bad, but what I mean is if you have to understand Indian culture and respect
the culture when you’re going there, you have to at times, you know, you have to
accept those invitations, go there, I mean eat as much as you can but you have to
accept that, that you are and it’s not that they are getting into a private
life, for example they would ask you, hey how is your family, how are your children,
a lot of questions from private life would be asked, but not because they have
any negative intentions but because that’s how we are, we like to know about
each other, we are warm and we are quite friendly and so we are like that,
you know, that’s what Indian culture is about, it’s
like you’re a very relationship oriented culture, absolutely I mean, that’s
what it is all about, I mean, people neighbors help each other, we
celebrate festivals together, I mean, it’s you, once you go there, you feel the warmth
of people, really, and you will not find cold faces, you will always find warm faces,
you’re walking down the street you need help,
there are times people will simply take you there instead of just showing you
the direction, can you imagine that, yeah, no not really, so that’s quite a shock
yeah so that’s that’s what it is. Another question I have, you know like, people
tend to put other people into boxes literally, yeah, it’s helping us I guess
to manage our expectations a bit, so is there a one prejudice that you would
like to break? About India? Yes. In fact, I can think of my days in England, when I
was staying there, because you know, I was staying in a common house with people
from other countries, staying in different rooms and I understood, that
there was one prejudice that people had about India and the prejudice was that
India is a very dirty country, it’s a backward country, all the places are
unhygenic and where do you get these kind of prejudices, I mean, why would you
put a culture into a box. And when I think about it, I feel that the media
and the news plays a very important role in either creating positive impressions
about the culture or country or negative impressions and you will find that
mostly the media would be showing the negative aspects, I’m not sure why, maybe
it helps the channels with no money, but the point is, let’s come back to this
whole prejudice about India,being a very dirty or backward country, let me tell
you something interesting, I mean if you look at India, the country, most of the
country is rural India, so that there are no cities, the cities constitute much
lesser in terms of area of land, you know, area of India, if you go to the rural
parts, yes, people may be poor but people are not dirty, yeah, we cannot say that
they’re dirty and they’re unhygenic, they do not have all the facilities they’re not rich, they’re poor, they might you might see that they’re wearing dirty
clothes but those are clothes that are washed but they don’t have more clothes
to wear which is why it may appear dirty but I think we need to break that
prejudice and see India as a country filled with a lot of cultural heritage,
it’s a beautiful country, and this is one country, where you go to different parts
and you find different kinds of landscapes here, you go towards the north
you’ve got the mountains and in the winter you can experience snow on, the
other hand, you go to the south and you have temples and you have, you know, the
sea and the beach and the West, Goa is one of the most famous beaches in the
world, in fact the best beach perhaps in India, there’s so much to see, it’s not
really, I mean, that’s the prejudice I really want to break. OK great how about
we take it to Schönbrunn now? Oh I’ll be very excited to go there. I’ve not
been there yet. Let’s do it and continue our conversation there. Oh
perfect. So as a woman, if you read the news and you might be interested into
traveling to India, you might get a feeling that it’s not the best idea, so
how do you see it? Is India safe, especially for women travelers or maybe
even expats? Well again, if I go back to the whole question of media
portraying how India is, I can probably put in a different way
really, I mean there are a lot of safety concerns and if each country, and India
is a very very big country, so when you read only the negative news or you watch
on TV, you will mostly find those negative aspects, so I have the answers
both yes and no, yes because well India is relatively safe, I don’t think there’s
too much of concern, the only point is and why I’m more towards a little bit
towards no as well, is you need to know where you can go and you cannot go,
so there are certain places which may be unsafe and people generally know about
it and they don’t go there, so you have to understand where you can and where
you cannot, which is why it’s important to consult someone who understands India
on those different places so that you get to know where you can and where you
cannot go, so in general India is safe, so with these conditions really. So what one
advice would you leave us with today especially for people who are working
with Indians, maybe even on daily basis? Okay so one very common complaint, if I
can call it, I get from Indians, when they’re working with Europeans or
Americans, generally, is that they say that they do not get much of praise for
their work what I understand because I’ve worked with people from different
nationalities and if I look at say Germans working or Austrians working I
wouldn’t really expect that they would be praising me for some work which I was
anyway supposed to do and I completed it on the other hand if you look at the
Indian culture and the Indian way of doing things, if you tell me to do
something and I do it, you know, maybe I have not gone over your expectations, but
just met your expectations, I would expect, that you would, you know, pat me on
the back and say, you know, you’ve done a good job or you would, you know, probably,
maybe just write an email, you know, just one line which is job well done, so
that’s something that Indians do expect so if you are not from India,
in your culture this is not what it is, I think when you’re working with Indians
if you can do this, that would really really help, you would build great
relationships with Indians. That’s wonderful so this is how you win an
Indian over. Absolutely. Oh wonderful okay thank you so much it was a pleasure
to have you. And now we would like to hear from
you so what is the one thing that you learned outside of this video, just let
us know in the comment section below, like this video, share it with your friends
and subscribe to my channel for new videos every week. Thank you so much for
watching and I catch you next time on BoundaryLess.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

7 thoughts on “Business in India: The Secrets of Indian Business Culture

  1. Well said Sir, your voice is heard and the key thoughts being that India is truly a nice place, irrespective of some stray incidences.

  2. Please watch Psycho Traveller youtube channel India on budget last three series for solo women travellers tips to India.
    India is the first ancient and continuous civilization on earth. Welcome to India.

  3. By the way… Really India is disgusting.. The education here is worst.. In my future I want to get a job in Austria… But the education here is so worst ..😒I don't think I will find job by this worst education in the planet.. 🙏..

  4. I am an India ,I love India but I would like mention some bad side too because I want to be honest..Where people are being killed in the name of cow ,some people may hate you if you don't belong from a particular religion ,Upper cast doesn't like lower cost and they treat them as a slave.Corruption is on high level no work will be done with out bribing.People are ready to do ant thing if you give them money,There are many issues relating women's safety,Indian pm one of the biggest lier on this planet. Politics is the only employment left for next generation.They use cow Urine on every holly ceremony, where leader believes They can secure cancer by using cow's urine and mud.and many more things even I could write a whole book. Mnay people in UK who came back from a holiday from India they died because of dog rabies.and many more serious issues.

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