Indian business etiquette: Do’s

  1. Do bring along lots of business cards – everyone will ask for one and everyone will offer you his or hers.
  2. Do start your conversation with “namastay”. That is the local form of greeting. Follow it up with “kaise hai”. (How are you?)
  3. Do try and remember the names of the people you meet and address them by name – most of the Indian businesspeople use the first name right away.
  4. Do study up on the companies you visit before you get there – it is very impolite if you are not well prepared.
  5. Do dress modestly if you are female – even when it’s hot! Form-fitting clothes on women are seen in nightclubs only.
  6. Do keep an open mind – you may be frustrated by the apparent contradictions you face every day, but this is an ancient country with a very complex history.
  7. Do carry with you a box of sweets or at least a chocolate bar for the children, if somebody has invited you home for dinner.
  8. Do wait for a female business colleague to initiate the greeting. Indian men do not generally shake hands with women out of respect.
  9. Do use titles wherever possible, such as “Professor” or “Doctor”. If your counterpart does not have a title, use “Mr.” or “Miss”.
  10. Do always remain polite and honest at all times in order to prove that your objectives are sincere.