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Inspiration and Learnings
Oftentimes there are rich pickings in the stories of others, and words of wisdom from those who've been there. Let's hear them.
Inspiration and Learnings
Indian way of doing business?
discusses it from a mythological context, but there's many other nuances and quirks that one encounters, and needs to be aware of. There's also a lot of efficiencies in the Indian business space that we can use better if we understand these.
Do share things you've learned, encountered. The attempt here is to understand things the way they work here and operate better in this environment, not be judgmental.
For starters, I've seen very often that Indian biz hires very differently. The good manager/boss in many AB movies said very often "Aadmi acchhe lagte ho, kal se kaam pe aa janaa". Have seen it in many businesses, and it applies to startups very often, more than strict job descriptions.
Another broad difference is the value and criticality of verbal agreements, trust an relationship building more than paperwork. It does break every now and then, but otherwise speeds things up tremendously. Guess what the quickest way to transfer largish sums of money across the country is, for instance?
A great one I heard of recently - vendors on SP Road use phone lines from a private exchange setup in the area. Not sure of legality - but since they embrace co-optition intrinsically - and co-operate for inventory, referrals, upsell, sharing vendors and services - there are a lot of intra-market calls that are now free!
In my short experience of working with Indian business people, I find, that they verbally agree to most of things we say. But when it is comes to signing on the dotted lines. They hesitate. They cringe. Does it indicate their noncommittal attitude? or have I come across outliers in the industry.
There does seem to be a certain amount of - unwillingness, for the lack of a better word - to 'agree' to rules from what I have seen during my tenure with an MNC, or for that matter even during college. The surprising bit is that this 'disagreement' it doesn't necessarily translate into 'disregard', but the statement "rules are rules" often evokes displeasure from people.
Although if you can sell the same set of rules as a much fancier story (no insult intended here) a lot of people will readily fall in line. I dunno if that is because it appeals to any principled mentality that we might have.
PS: I should go watch the whole series on Youtube!
One question: is it relevant that the host of a series that uses Indian mythology in the backdrop has the name Menaka? [ sorry, couldn't resist :D ]
Another anecdote I heard : When Tata Motors took over Daewoo Commercial Vehicles, there apparently was an internal directive that not too many folks from Tata Motors India should be visible in the Korean offices and plants at one time. The integration went off real smoothly as a win-win. Very different from a lot of M&As I've seen/heard about at some large corps in the Bay, for instance, where both employees of either company, and even customers felt anxious for months together.
Sometimes I am apalled by the way we do busines. The utter disregard for common sense and rules is disheartening. Just look at the way we drive.
If you want to call this slight to rules as the "Indian" way, I disagree.
- My take is that it is a case of a few giving a bad name to many. As far as the IT businesses go, there's a huge influence of MNC culture on us. The new generation of small/medium/personal businesses are very professional in their dealings.
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