Historically India has been known for corrupt business practices, as a place where bribes and payoffs are just part of everyday activity.
Even now, the country ranks a dismal 87 our of the 176 countries on the 2010 corruption Perception Index compiled by Transparency International, a nonprofit organization with 90 chapters around the world. And in the summer of 2011 there were protests around the country against the government’s apparent unwillingness to support a comprehensive anti corruption law.
Understand that the closer you get to government , the higher the risk of exposure to corruption. “ Be prepared to bail out when this happens. The controversy surrounding telecommunications licenses in 2008 is a case in point.In that instance the hidden cost were out in the open and the foreign companies walked in knowingly.
It is possible to conduct a clean and ethical business in India despite impressions to the contrary and it would be naive for foreigners to do things in India that they would not do back home and think they will no be caught, adding that their reputation will inevitably be damaged.
For negotiation, hire a good lawyer, even if they are as expensive as in the west , to ensure that a contractual protections are established. But realize that Indian’s legal system is so slow as to appear dysfunctional, so if deal does not work , be prepared to cut your losses and walk away as a you cannot get legal redress.
Also tax laws are complex and legislations varies among the countries different states. So it is wise to hire consultants to help navigate the intricacies. The opportunities for success are endless in India, so are the chances of failure.