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2012

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT OF INDIA


[Type the author name]

By:Debanjalee Chakravorty

[ An assignment on the impact of the cultural Variables in businesses] .

CONTENTS INTRODUCTION CULTURE IS LEARNED CULTURE UNIVERSALS ETHNOCENTRISM UNITY IN DIVERSITY IN INDIA VARIETY THE HALLMARK HISTORY OF INDIA CULTURAL VARIABLES CULTURE SHOCK

Introduction
Culture and business are widely inter-related. The impact of business upon culture has been felt immensely in modern times. Borang, is the traditional tree of Garo Hills , Meghalaya. This tree holds a great significance for the Garo tribe in Meghalaya. Recently it has been observed that these borang trees were sold at a very high price in the handicraft exhibition in Tura. The price range started from Rs 250 and extended to Rs 5000 depending on the size and quality of the Borang. This is an example which focuses on how the people of Garo Hills are earning their livelihood with the help of the cultural traits prevailing out there. Another example is that of Muga Silk Fabrics, is one of the rarest wild silks, cultivated and prepared in Assam, India. Manufactured using silkworm yarns, is known for its natural shimmering golden color. Sensuous and beautiful, this fabric is admired and preferred for its rich golden color, glossy fine texture and durability. Muga Silk Sarees are very widely sold not only all over Assam but also to other states in India and neighbouring countries. The vibrant Sualkuchi sarees and mekhla-chaddars are the traditional items made from muga silk. In recent times, fashion designers have found exciting prospects in using muga silk for developing new products and designs. Use of muga yarn as a substitute for zari in sarees is finding favour with reputed weavers. With these examples cited above, let us try to know what is culture?

Set of commonly held values A way of life of a group of people Includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs and habits Everything that people have, think and do as members of their society An integrated system of learned behavior patterns that are characteristic of the members of any given society . In broad terms, the social-cultural environment includes everything that is not included in the economy or the political system. Economic life is organized primarily through a market in which individuals relate to one another as buyers and sellers and the purpose is production. In political life individuals relate to one another as citizens and the basic purpose is making collective decisions and rules. The economic and political systems together create the conditionsgoods, services and ruleswhich we all need in order to live the kinds of lives that we choose. The social cultural environment, then, consists of the whole range of behaviours and relationships in which individuals engage in their personal and private lives, including: the characteristics of the population (e.g. age, sex, race or ethnicity, class), values and attitudes,lifestyles and relationships. Culture is an attribute of groups, and this can mean society as a whole (e.g. national culture), groups within society (sub-cultures), or even groups of societies and nations (trans-national culture). For example, it is quite common to speak of western culture. This term implies that there are certain values and ways of life that western societies might be said to share, such as: Secularismthis refers to the increasing influence of rational and scientific thought, and the decline of religion as a framework of understanding and guide to behaviour.

Consumerism or materialismthis refers to the view that achieving higher levels of consumption of goods and services leads to greater happiness. A good life means having more stuff. This attitude lies behind the belief that economic growth is always a good thing. Individualismthis usually refers to the idea that individuals make their own lifestyle choices and are motivated primarily by self-interest. It can also involve the idea that individuals should strive to be self-reliant. However these attitudes or values vary in strength between western societies (e.g. UK society is more secular than the United States), and they also have their own distinctive cultural traits. For example, Britishness might be said to include (among other traits): an attitude of reserve (e.g. compared to American outspokenness), a sensitivity to class differences (as expressed by accent and manners), a sense of fair play, Stakeholders, Values, Spatial . Cross Cultural Myths Myth One: We really are all the same Myth Two: I just need to be myself and everything will be okay Myth Three: I have to adopt the practices Of the other culture to succeed

Culture is Learned
Culture is transmitted through the process of learning and interacting with ones environment rather than through the generic process

Culture Universals Common problems and common features Economic systems

Marriage and family systems Educational systems

Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism is the tendency for people to judge behavior by their own standards. They have the belief that own culture is superior. All people in all societies are ethnocentric to some degree. Ethnocentrism can contribute to prejudice

Unity in Diversity in India

Few countries in the world have such an ancient and diverse culture as India's. Indian culture has taken shape over a period of not less than 5000 years. India's culture has been enriched by successive waves of migration which were absorbed into the Indian way of life.

Variety: the Hallmark Variety is the special hallmark of India. Its physical, religious and racial variety is as immense as its linguistic diversity. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization. Modern

India presents a picture of unity in diversity to which history provides no parallel.

History of India The earliest human activity in the Indian sub-continent can be traced back to the Early, Middle and Late Stone Ages (400,000-200,000 BC). The first evidence of agricultural settlements on the western plains of the Indus is roughly cited with similar developments in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Persia. Business is an activity undertaken by people whose values and attitudes are shaped by the culture and society of which they are a part. To some extent the roles we perform in business are quite discrete from other aspects of our lives and require that we adopt different behaviors and persona. As with other aspects of the environment, the relationship between business, culture and society involves a two-way interaction. Although we tend to think of business as operating according to a distinctive instrumental rationality of profit-and-loss and the bottom line it is also influenced by the social-cultural setting in which it is embedded. The terms on which we interact with business have a profound influence on our lives. Culture has become increasingly big business as a growing share of consumer expenditure is dedicated to lifestyle purchases rather than material necessities. This can be seen in

the growth of the wide range of businesses concerned with leisure and tourism. For Example: Cheap Flight Rates during Special occasions and tour packages to special destination. Some of the cultural variables affecting the business are: Language Attitude Religion and caste Ethics, Mores and traditions, Nationalism, Aesthetic Values The Influence of Language on Culture Language influences perception, categorization and worldview, language reflects values of the group. Example individualism in the US so many words pertaining to self. In Japan we always comes before the I indicating the collectivist approach.

The Influence of Culture on Language The vocabulary of a language depicts what is considered important in that culture. Industrialized societies have more

technological in terms. Example: 7 words for bamboo in South India but none for snow. Attitude Single Focus (American Western Europe, Industrialized Asia): one task at a time; meet deadlines, Lets get to work, Time is money. Multi Focus (Southern Europe, Latin America, Middle East): Simultaneous tasks, completion of task based on strength of relationship, delays are expected, commitments are not written in stone Control Cultures (Western Societies): Go for it, Life is what you make it, The future can be planned for. Harmony Cultures (Asian Cultures): Dont rock the boat, Go with the flow Constraint Culture (Latin America, MiddleEast): Its a matter of fate, You take what life gives you. Doing Cultures (American):God helps those who help themselves, If at first you dont succeed, try again, Who are you? Answer with job title.

Being Cultures (Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Southern Europe):Who are you? philosophical outlook. Answer with family description or

Competitive Cultures (U.S., Western Europe, Hong Kong, Mexico, Argentina, Japan):Winner takes all, Predominantly materialistic, We live to work, Cooperative Cultures (Scandinavian Countries, Some Latin Countries, Some European Countries, Parts of Asia):Were in this together,We work to live Religion and Caste Festivals in India: During any festivals in India, the sales volume of any company reaches at its peak and this is the time when most of the companies gives offers to attract its customers. KFC In the middle east when KFC tried to enter the market, it faced lots of controversies because it was said they did not provide hallal chickens to its customers. SUBWAY- Subway is famous for ham burgers in America, but when it entered India, they introduced chicken burgers keeping in mind the taste and preference of the customers. Mc Donalds- When Mc Donalds entered the Indian market it introduced vegetable burgers for the Indian customers.

Ethics Ethics in finance Ethics in HR Ethics in Marketing

Tradition In such a richly diverse and complex country as India it is difficult to impart generic conclusions that can be used by those doing business there. Regionalism, religion, language and caste are all factors that need to be taken into account when doing business in India. When doing business in India, meeting etiquette requires a handshake. However, Indians themselves use the namaste. This is where the palms are brought together at chest level with a slight bow of the head. Using the namaste is a sign of your understanding of Indian etiquette. Names speak volumes about an Indian's background. For example, a Singh will always be a Sikh. The suffix "-jee" ( as in Banerjee) is a sign of a high caste. "Kar" (as in Chandraskar) denotes that person is of Maharashtrian high caste. Arabic sounding names will be used by Muslims. In such a richly diverse and complex country as India it is difficult to impart generic conclusions that can be used by those doing business there. Regionalism, religion, language and caste are all factors that need to be taken into account when doing business in India. When doing business in India, meeting etiquette requires a handshake. However, Indians themselves use the namaste. This is

where the palms are brought together at chest level with a slight bow of the head. Using the namaste is a sign of your understanding of Indian etiquette. Names speak volumes about an Indian's background. For example, a Singh will always be a Sikh. The suffix "-jee" ( as in Banerjee) is a sign of a high caste. "Kar" (as in Chandraskar) denotes that person is of Maharashtrian high caste. Arabic sounding names will be used by Muslims.

What is Culture Shock? It is the unpleasant consequences of experiencing a foreign culture. It results in: confusion, surprise, disgust, panic, rejection, loss of self-esteem, and inability to function effectively.