Report of Workshop on May 30, 2015

Title: Cultural Challenges in the Indian Market
Presenter: Ms. Nirmala Junko (India Business Advisor, President & CEO Encess Ltd.)

The following program was a great success!

Many SIETAR Japan members specialize in cross-cultural communications between Japan and North America or Europe. This time, SIETAR Japan invited Ms Nirmala who is well-versed in both Indian and Japanese cultures. This workshop aimed to provide synergy between aspects of Indian and Western cultures.

First, Ms. Nirmala introduced contemporary Indian culture and how global companies performed in the Indian market:
・Mcdonald’s entered the Indian Market not by selling beef hamburgers but chicken hamburgers.
・Forever21 (American retail chain) and Marks and Spencer (British private brand company) have already expanded their business in India.
・Wedding parties are a big event for Indian people where parties last for an entire week.
・Domino Pizza is doing well, prevailing in the market.
・Food in India does not consist of only curry, just like sashimi is not part of daily means in Japan.

Ms. Nirmala focused on the challenges in doing business with India from a Japanese point of view as well as some behavior that appears strange or odd from an Indian perspective.
・Indian English is sometimes not grammatically correct.
・Indian people always speak aloud. (hopefully with tender, respectful)
・Indian people have a tendency to ask questions to the speaker without listening carefully

How Japanese behaviors are seen from an Indian perspective:
・Many Japanese people close their eyes when listening to other people talk (appears to be sleeping).
・No training programs are offered in Indian subsidiaries of Japanese companies, only the headquarter office offer training programs to employees in certain position after a certain number of years.
・Indian people have difficulty understanding what their task is in Japanese companies because no goals are made explicit.

Many participants were unfamiliar with Indian culture and behavior and asked a lot of question at the end of her presentation.
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