Corporate Culture– According to Sriramesh “Corporate culture has been referred to as the rules of the game for getting along in an organization, the ropes that members of an organization share. Organizations often have subcultures and countercultures. Certain subcultures may enhance the mainstream culture by advocating loyalty to core organizational values, be slightly different from the mainstream culture, or completely at odds with the mainstream culture of the organization.
It is imperative that there is a boss and that the manager acts like a boss. The position of manager demands a certain amount of role-playing from the boss and a certain amount of deferential behavior from his subordinates.
The boss is expected to give explicit instructions which will be followed to the letter – even if everybody knows full well that the instruction is incorrect. Vague requests for action, with the expectation that staff will show the necessary level of initiative are likely to end in inaction, as staff will be left confused as to the wishes of the manager. Managing people in India requires a level of micro-management which many western business people feel extremely uncomfortable with but, which is likely to bring the best results.
Norms and Practices
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome when entering the India market or doing business with India is definitely the cultural differences you will undoubtedly encounter. They do things differently in India. Indian business culture and etiquette is the product of thousands of years of the influence of Hinduism with an overlay of Islam, the British Raj and more recent Western business systems. Understanding the impact of a hierarchical mindset, the complex communication patterns and a myriad of other subtleties can help you refine your approach and hugely improve your chances of success.
Many organizations think they can simply transplant their normal ways of doing things into India and expect it to work – it probably won’t! Understanding the Indian mindset, adapting how your offering fits into Indian needs and keeping your eyes open to the rapid changes that are happening in India on a daily basis – these are the keys to success in India.
In many ways, business structures mirror Indian society. Both are extremely hierarchical in nature, where people have an allotted position which they do not attempt to overturn. It is absolutely essential to understand how deeply these hierarchical thought-processes impact on Indian attitudes to business. If overlooked, this simple fact can make working into India much more costly and inefficient.
Subculture or Counter-Cultures
- Andhras: These people are Hindu and live in southeast India. This group of people is known for their long hair, tall stature, sweet language, and also their mighty prowess
- Gonds: This group has their own region in India called Gondwana and are widespread across Central India. They are a large hill tribal group.
- Gujaratis: This group mainly follows the Hindu religion. They inhabit in western India
- Marathas- This group renamed the India city to Mumbai from Bombay and is gaining power in Mahashtra. They inhabit in western India and are Hindus
- ) Oriya: This group are Hindus that live in eastern India.
- Rajputs: These are Hindus that inhabit North and West India.
- Tamils: This group practices Hinduism and Islam. They also inhabit southern India and Sri Lanka
Relationships Among Members
Team working, as understood in the Anglo-Saxon world is alien to the Indian approach to business. A team expects to be given exact and complete instructions by the team-leader or boss and then to follow those instructions exactly. Team members would not be expected to query the instructions passed down to them and would expect to follow them even when it became apparent that things were going wrong.
Therefore, the team leader takes complete responsibility for the success or failure of a project and needs to be constantly on top of progress and looking out for problems. If anything goes awry, the team leader is expected to sort it out personally. Once again, micro-management is the key.
Indian team-members love to get positive feedback on work done (especially if that feedback is cc’d to the boss) but find negative feedback very difficult to handle. Negative feedback can be seen as detrimental to future promotion prospects and the western concept of welcoming mistakes as a positive learning experience is a non-Indian reaction.