Business trips are something that requires careful preparation. Sure, booking a hotel and making other travel arrangements is a part of it, but if you’re going to a culturally rich and diverse country like India, the bigger part of preparations will likely end up being learning about local customs, the dos and don’ts, and the business culture. You can check travel options in Infoisinfo.co.in, and for the rest, you only need to read this article.
One of the most important things you need to know about India is that staying in good health while you’re there might be challenging. Before going to India, you might need to take shots for hepatitis, tetanus, or typhoid fever. It would also be a good idea to pack anti-malarial medications, as well as something against diarrhea. Because it’s easy to catch a water-borne bug in India, you should be prepared to drink only bottled water while you’re in the country. In a similar way, you should be careful not to eat anything undercooked. Bring plenty of hand sanitizer.
Know How to Dress
Some parts of India are more westernized than others, but even there, business attire is conservative. You should pack proper business suits, but keep the materials light – the weather in India can be hot and humid, so forget about heavy suits. Businesswomen should be aware that, no matter how colorful and joyful traditional Indian female attire can be, it is never figure-hugging, and it never shows any skin. Taking cues from that, plunging necklines and tight clothes should be avoided. Of course, unless you plan to work all the time while in India, you’ll need casual clothing, but once again, avoid anything that would be too contrasting with the local traditions, so shorts and short skirts should be avoided.
Bring Plenty of Business Cards
Business people in India love to exchange business cards, so you should bring plenty of those. Keep in mind that business cards are exchanged with the right hand only, as the left hand is considered to be unclean, and they should be carefully and respectfully put away once received. It is also customary, but to a lesser degree, to present gifts to business partners. They don’t have to be very expensive, and their meaning is more symbolic than anything else.
Know the Local Business Customs
India’s business culture might be different than your country’s, and you should be prepared for that. In India, there’s a very clear hierarchy that needs to be honored when you meet with your business partners. Handshakes are welcome, but men shake with men, and women shake with women. In some cases, women won’t offer to shake hands at all, but they might greet you with a “Namaste” and a gesture of joining hands as if they were praying, and you should reply in the same way. It’s also very important to first greet the senior member of the group, and remember to call people by their titles, and use“sir” or “madam” if you’re not sure what their title is.