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Indian Business Hierarchy

Aug 9, 2012 | atiq | Business India | No Comments

Indian companies reflect Indian Society and are extremely hierarchical. Often the only way to push a proposal forwards is to speak with the senior executive or team leader.

“ It can be very old fashioned; the boss always knows better,”. The higher you are the more you count. The bigger you are , the more you count. The bigger your car is, the more you count. The bigger the people you know, the more you count. Take a deep breath and flex your chest.

Decision- Making

Companies in India may be government-run, family-owned, joint ventures with foreign companies or new economy companies, the term often used for outsourcing and telecommunications operations. Decision- making general business culture vary according to ownership.

Government – backed companies, including airlines and utilities are bureaucratic and hierarchical in the extreme and decision-making is painfully slow, especially given that several have been involved in financial scandals recently.

For example even with government support, Air India has had a series of financial crisis including lengthy walkout by pilots in early 2011. Later in the year , Star Alliance , a 27 member airline consortium, announced that Air India would not be joining the group, despite five year preparation.

Family controlled business, even those that are publicly listed, operate independently. “So the primary decision maker is also the founder-slash- CEO-slash owner, “ Given this background, most companies have issues with control and delegation. “

In Contrast, most multinationals or new economy companies like insurance and telecommunications businesses, tend to be flexible and somewhat egalitarian.

As a rule, decisions are made outside meetings in India. So when you receive email about a meeting, note how many copies are sent to people who did not attend. The Larger the number, the less likely it is that anyone at the meeting has decision-making authority. At the meetings, determine who is the decision maker – it will become obvious within minutes – and focus on decision maker.

Even if a junior-level Person is talking , make eye contact with the decision maker and address your responses to him or her. And just as the decision maker is probably the person who speaks last during a meeting, “ its wise to hold your own opinions until the end, as you many otherwise intimidate ‘juniors’ and prevent them from expressing divergent views.

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