It is a frustrating pattern. The eager business team arrives in India on their first trade mission, they race from meeting to meeting and sign lots of MOU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) and appoint agents. The three day trip has been a roaring success!
Then, nothing happens.
What is going on here? The collision of “transaction” culture (the west) and “relationship” culture (India) has taken place yet again, with predictable outcomes.
From the Indian side, a high sense of courtesy and a culture that cannot say “no” means the visitor feels great progress is being achieved – while the Indian is also positive, feeling that a valued relationship might develop. Classic misunderstanding.
What is the alternative? Take a long view of India – at least three years – and wait for genuine relationships to develop. Go to India many times, not just once or twice. Put quick transactions aside and build trust. Learn how to relate to a culture that thinks differently.
Given that around 600 million Indians are under the age of 25, the future is bright and you should be there. Just go about it the right way next time.