At Work in Mumbai

Work Usage in Mumbai

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Trust, familiarity and respect are important to building business relationships in India. A direct and blunt approach will not work here. Take the time to build a personal relationship with clients. Many Indian businesses are family-run and hierarchical - even the bigger companies. It can get a bit frustrating as meetings with the top in command will only take place much later in negotiations. Some basic things to bear in mind when working in India:

  • Business attire is modest and formal. For women, salwar kameez which comprises a long tunic and pants is the common traditional attire. Western attire normally consists of pants, jackets and shirts, occasionally skirts. But make sure that your skirts aren't too short or tight.
  • Business greeting is generally a firm handshake and eye contact.
  • Make appointments in advance and make sure you arrive in time. But expect the Indian party to arrive later.
  • Exchange business cards with your right hand or use both hands. Never hand out your cards with your left hand.
  • Address people using Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. unless told to switch to a more informal form of address.
  • Small talk at the start of meetings is an important way to build the personal relationship. Expect long lunches and longer dinners if you're invited for a meal.

When in Mumbai, you'll have plenty of holidays to explore the city and its surroundings. Besides paid leave, there are a total of 23 holidays in Mumbai. Most of these are festivals or celebrations of some sort. For more details on holidays celebrated in Mumbai, click here. There are three national holidays that are celebrated  here. They include:

  • 15th August, Independence Day
  • 26th January, Republic Day
  • 2nd October, Gandhi Jayanthi

Update 24/10/2008


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