The Personal Relationship: Key to Success in India

The basic idea of India as a secular nation is tolerance of religions and cultural fusion not only within India, but also globally. In part, however, it has to be said that there are currently currents in India as well as in Europe or America that want to politically undermine this tolerance and mutual respect for cultures for their own benefit.

Intercultural competence is essential for all those who want to do business with Indians in India. Anyone who thinks that they can establish business contacts in India as well as in Europe or the USA according to old patterns will fail in the first steps, just as those who think that they can transfer the Asia experience that they have gained in China, for example.B, to India 1:1. The differences are considerable.

The difference in cultural dimensions is particularly large Power Distance Index (PDI). India, like most Asian countries, has a very high power-distance value. Values that are considered normal and self-evident in India have little or no significance in Germany. Other symbols, heroes, rituals, and values are important. Nevertheless, Every day Indians communicate with Germans and often very successfully.

Most Indians are extremely relationship-oriented. While in Western countries you usually do business first and then dedicate yourself to maintaining relationships after work, in India it is the other way around. In India, you do business because you know each other. It doesn’t matter if you want to sell something to an Indian business partner or buy something from them. Creating a trusting business and work base should always be a priority in the first steps in India.

For the vast majority of Indian businessmen, it is important to have long-term(!) To do business with a win-win situation for both business partners, because India is a nation that has a long-term orientation (LTO or Future Orientation).

Long-term orientationShort-term orientation
Respect for traditionRespect for circumstances
Personal stability is paramountPersonal adaptability is important
Status is importantWillingness to serve a purpose is important
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Figure 1: The main differences between countries with long- and short-term orientation It takes a long time to build these relationships, but in order to gain a foothold in India in the long term, it is essential to invest in this relationship building.

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