Do not kiss and greet Indian women, British companies told

Executives asked to just fold hands and say ‘namaste’

17th July 2009: If you are an Indian woman living in the UK, your boss will check his impulse of greeting you with a kiss. Instead, he will just fold his fold hands and say ‘namaste’ — that is if he has attended the Insight India Day.

Organised by the UK India Business Council with bank major HSBC, the day saw anti-kissing warning to the executives of British companies looking forward to set up operations in India.

The Council and HSBC were offering a crash course in etiquette to the companies based in and around Birmingham. The top bosses were told it was important to understand how people in India went about doing their chores.

The companies were told many executives made ‘big mistakes’ while travelling to India to explore  business opportunities.

Council chief executive Sharon Bamford said the most important thing people need to learn is the reality of what India is like. The Western economies are going down in terms of growth and the eastern ones are going up.

It’s a fabulous opportunity, but it’s not the easiest of markets. The executives are faced with so many new things. The biggest hurdle is just lack of knowledge."

HSBC’s Dalip Puri, head of multicultural banking UK, said there was much potential because of shared cultural attitudes between India and the UK.

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