India is super exciting, vibrant, colourful and amazingly friendly. People are accessible and available. Deals can be signed and MOU’s are much loved. The population of over 1.2 billion is soon to become the largest in the world and is soon to overtake China.
While India will probably not be “another China”, it is becoming a global power in its own right and an economy that will soon not be too far behind the USA and China.
So, it makes sense to be there real quick, yes?
YES be there – but watch out for these fatal mistakes
- Trying to do the whole country at once will exhaust and confuse you – even Indian companies take years to cover it. Select your best one or two points of entry and the rest will follow.
2. Going in quick on price might seem exciting – but who is actually winning out of this deal? You become a disposable and cheaper provider – so your future is very short term.
3. Appointing the first person who says “yes” seems exciting and then nothing happens. Later you might work out every Indian says “yes” – in their culture, they have to. It takes time to find a “yes” that is real.
4. Focusing on injustice, slums, inequality and the Indian way might be something you think is important but of course it is pretty offensive to your hosts. Sure the traffic is diabolical, but there is no benefit in whinging.
5. A short time frame such as one year is a real killer for Indian market entry. It needs to be a minimum 3 years. If you cannot give it time, go somewhere else.
6. Going it alone sounds brave – but is stupid and wasteful. India is all about relationships and collaborations. And you will need “hand holding” by someone who knows the ropes.
7. Ignoring cultural differences is a recipe for misunderstanding and disappointment. Cultural differences between India and the west are massive – and what we have in common is also massive. You need to understand them both.