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10 common mistakes made when dealing with India

10) The expectation that a contract ends the negotiation.

Many times, a contract is singed, and then negotiations continue. Business people in India do not place the contract at the end of an agreement.

9) The assumption that India is homogenous.

India is old, and large. It has geographic, cultural, and religious differences just as any large country does.

8) The lack of patience.

India does not put the same emphasis in time as we in the west do, particularly the USA.

7) When outsourcing, firms put technical experts in charge of India projects.

Are your technical experts negotiators? Are they cross cultural specialists? If they possess both of those characteristics in addition to their technical expertise, then use them. Otherwise, supplement them with your business people

6) Lack of training on the India team.

“Software is software, leather jackets are leather jackets. If we know the business, we can work internationally.” This is simply NOT TRUE! Your staff dealing with India needs to be trained in HOW to conduct business there.

5) Lack of Support for India’s distributors and partners.

This mistake is made throughout the planet, including the home country of various firms. Distributors need partners that will stimulate sales, and help them sell within their markets. Otherwise, sales will be disappointing.

4) Assumptions made regarding local laws, and how to enforce them.

India is not a litigious country. Therefore, it is necessary to figure out how to solve problems non-confrontationally.

3) The use of Western project management skills to manage Indian workers.

Again, Gant charts, MBO timetables, and artificial deadlines alone aren’t sufficient. And usually, the Asians will want many people involved, not just a Project Manager. They will also expect you to spend time developing a working relationship, which is often personally based.

2) The assumption that outsourcing to India will bring immediate savings.

This is usually untrue. There are set up costs, delays, and a relationship building process that will eat up much of the savings expected in the first year or two.

1) The assumption that “if they speak English, they must think like us”

Nothing can be farther from the truth. Americans are typically poor at realizing that cultural biases are largely invisible. English ability does not guarantee similar thought, ethics, customs, or negotiation points.

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