What is the best time to plan a business trip to India?
India still remains an enigma to people who would like to visit the country for various business needs. The country with its potpourri of culture has been attracting people from abroad because they have been pretty impressed with the benefits of doing business in India. While there are several advantages of starting your business in India, you need to time your trip carefully in order to enjoy the full benefits. Along with timing, you also need to learn about the culture and etiquette of meeting with Indian counterparts. Both these factors together would make your India trip successful on the business front and memorable on the personal front.
The best months to do business in India… and the worst
Accurately speaking, the best time to travel to India for business would be October-November and February-March months. June, July and August months are alright if you can do most of the work indoors. But when you have to get around a lot, travelling during those months would be a little tough. The monsoon during those months can be pretty rough, and you will have to take a few precautions to brave the weather. There are waterborne diseases that you will need to be aware of as well. In order to protect yourself, make sure you drink only boiled or bottled water, take the necessary shots and carry preventive medicines whenever you travel. Travelling during the monsoon season can be a little tricky, but several transport options are available if you are travelling within cities. If you are traveling from one city to another, the company you are doing partnership with will generally provide transportation.
The hottest months…not advised at all
Generally, partners in other countries do not prefer to come to India for business purposes during the summer months because it can be very, very difficult. April-May months are extremely hot in India and if they are not used to this heat, it can be really tiring.
So when should you come down, after all
As mentioned earlier, October-November and February-March months would be the perfect time of the year if you want to discuss business. It is neither too hot nor too cold in the southern region, but it gets a bit cold for comfort up north. However, if you are properly attired in layers, you can brave the cold. The people of India are extremely friendly and would help you with everything, because they are famous for their hospitality.
India is a land where guests are treated as Gods
India has a long standing tradition of treating its guests will lots of love and respect. But there are still some rules and etiquettes to follow. Here are some of them to help you keep track of the rules:
Hierarchy in business is compartmentalized and very strict. When you want to discuss something with your Indian counterpart, it would be advisable to discuss it with an equivalent of your job role, or the highest possible authority in the company. It is also normal to expect delays due to bureaucracy and internal politics. But if you sweet talk your way, nothing is impossible to get done in India. As long as you respect Indian values, there wouldn’t be any difficulties.
Indians hate the word “no”
You might have noticed that Indians will go to any extent to please you. They will never tell in the negative, even if they find it difficult to give an affirmative answer. They will skirt around the topic and give vague answers to your questions, because Indians just don’t believe in disappointing you. So even if they have no appropriate answer to give to your question, they will try to convince you that they are right people for the job. Hence, when you hire people for a project, check their experience and knowledge level.
Though Indians are diligent and hardworking, punctuality is not a very strong point for most of them. If you fix a meeting for 10 in the morning, you can expect them to come in half hour late. But when you arrive on time, they are pretty impressed.
Negotiations in business
In business meetings, the person with the top-most authority mainly takes decisions. It could be a slow process, but there will be no confusions after that. While negotiating, concessions in both terms and prices are acceptable on both sides. In India, carefully constructed plans are quite rare, because improvisations and adaptations are usually done when they meet hurdles during a project. They are used to that and are pretty good at handling emerging circumstances, but expats/partners from abroad are more comfortable with planning for different contingencies.
India is a good place to start business because the country’s GDP is on a roll. Foreign Direct Investment is also on a rise and many countries are coming forward to make their investments in the country. The government is also doing its best to help the Indian economy by encouraging foreign investments. The low tax rate is also helping. Some important bills were passed and these accelerated the growth of business in India. The country also has the highest potential in its youth, most of whom are attracted to the lucrative jobs in the IT field. They are hardworking, diligent and ready to work in different time zones.
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.