One word for one world
One word for one world

The Taj Mahal in India: a country of new opportunities.

We have a few tips for you for doing business in South Asia.

Doing business in South Asia

India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are countries in South Asia. They are known for the clothing produced for large western concerns, but entrepreneurs are also discovering opportunities in areas such as IT.

Countries in the region are also increasingly being seen as beacons of innovation and production within which European companies increasingly want to promote their products. Asian business culture, however, is so different from that of Europe that it is important to be well informed before you embark on any endeavour. We’ve provided a few tips for you.

Tip 1: Learn about the country

Although the term South Asia is often used as if it is a single entity, there are significant differences between the countries of which it is comprised. It is therefore important to be aware of the most important cultural characteristics of the specific country in which you will be doing business. This also has consequences for the sort of translations you will need, something that we will, of course, be happy to help you with.

Tip 2: Be prepared for negotiations

If you have ever been on holiday in South Asia, you will know that you should never pay the price someone asks for. Haggling is ingrained in the culture. It is a good idea to approach people for advice about how you should deal with this, such as western entrepreneurs who are already active in South Asia, for example.

Tip 3: Meetings and presentations

The expression, ‘fine words butter no parsnips’ is particularly applicable in South Asia where people prefer to hear convincing facts. If you are going to be giving a presentation to your South Asian clients or partners, make sure that you have all the information to hand which you may be asked about. You don’t need to learn it by heart but it is certainly advisable to offer accessible hand-outs and to have other sources of information at hand. If you want to give someone your business card, then offer it with both hands with the front uppermost.

The language

Various languages are spoken in South Asia. You can often get by in India with English but Punjabi is also often used. This also applies in Pakistan where Punjabi is the most frequently spoken language. It is a good idea to find out beforehand in which language your potential partners would like to receive correspondence and documents. Our translation agency can be of assistance here. We work with professional translators all over the world, allowing us to find the best specialist for every project; the person with the most expertise in the subject to achieve the desired result.

Simon Bombey
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Our expert is looking forward to answering any questions you may have.

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