When doing business in India, you often hear mantras like “it is important to know each other well” or “without good connections you are not able to do business in India”. But is it really true? And - if yes - why are these relations so important and how can we deal with that?
Is it true?
First of all, it is true that a good connection and relations are important, like everywhere else in the world. However, in India - if you compare India with Denmark - you will experience that the right references and having good relations to your employees is even more important than in Denmark.
Why are relations and network so important?
The answer is trust. If you know someone who know the person you are doing business with, you will find that only because of that connection there is a higher level of trust. Good connections could very well be the basis of good business.
Generally, if we look at a team, we will see that when team members interact and get to know each other, the level of trust gets higher. And when the level of trust is higher team members put greater effort into working as a team and helping each other. However, today we see many Indian-Danish teams that do not have a chance to meet and get to know each other. They meet only in formal settings like meetings and other work situations, and they work from different locations on the globe. So, the chances for an informal dialogue, small talk and building up relations to each other are in many cases non-existent.
How can we deal with that?
In fact, visiting each other is one of the most important ways to actually create better relations and following higher trust in teams working in different locations. Companies who do prioritize visits will experience better relations and higher trust in their teams. Moreover, they will experience higher understanding of the challenges on each side and greater willingness to extend help. They will also see that more fun can happen, and the power of fun should not be underestimated.
If your job is to locate or work with subcontractors, it is equally important to visit to build up relations to the subcontractor. In this way you create a higher level of trust and you show the subcontractor that the relationship between your two companies is of high importance.
To summarize this article, good relations and the following trust is essential to all business and team work in India. If you focus on creating good relations, you have a solid foundation to build your business and teams on.