Some Facts about Indian Culture

What is CULTURE? What impact
does it have on business?
 “the collective programming of the mind which
distinguishes the members of one human group
over another…
Culture, in this sense, includes systems of values;
and values are among the building blocks of
Know local culture to sell or market the product
 Build relationships while setting up business (with
employees as well as customers).Employ locals to gain
cultural knowledge. Help employees understand you
Non-Verbal Gestures
 Italy – What exactly do
you mean?
 Greece – That’s just
 Egypt – Be patient
Salient features of Indian Society
 Rich culture
 Religiously diverse
 Social Hierarchy
 Joint Family – Nuclear family
 Neo urban culture
 Cricket and bollywood
Dimensions of Cultural Diversity in
 •Language
 •Rural vs. Urban India
 •Rich vs. Poor
 •Geographical diversity
 •Liberal vs. Conservative
Class and Caste structure of Indian
 4 Varnas = Jati
 In India, a caste system organizes division of labour
and money in human society. It is a system of social
stratification and basis of affirmative action
Secularism in Indian Society
No State Religion-Separation of State and
Peaceful co-existence of all religions,
Treatment of all religions equally by the State,
Equality of opportunity in the public field for
all irrespective of caste or creed or race or
religion ensuring equal citizenship,
Freedom of religion both individual and
Rural and Urban Differences
Joint Family System
 India has had a prevailing tradition of the joint family
system. It is a system under which extended members of a
family – parents, children, the children’s spouses and their
offspring, etc. – live together. Usually, the oldest male
member is the head in the joint Indian family system. He
makes all important decisions and rules, and other family
members abide by them.
 Over the last 60 years, the cultural trend in most parts of
India has been an accelerated change from joint family to
nuclear families, much like population trends in other
parts of the world.
 Youth in lower socio-economic classes are more inclined to
spend time with their families than their peers due to
differing ideologies in rural and urban parenting.
Business Participation in Social and
Cultural affairs
 Support to cultural activities
 Empowering artists and musicians
 Organizing exhibitions of contemporary paintings
 Sponsoring cultural programs through TV
 Sangeet sammelan by ITC
 Beauty in building design
 Earlier infrastructure was based on utilitarian concept
 Factories now constructed keeping in mind aesthetic values –
industrial parks,gardens etc
This provides better quality of life to community
Better Place for their children
Encourages each employee’s own cultural growth
Improvement of entire social system
Size and growth rate of population
 High population growth rate implies increase in labour
supply. The falling birth rate and rising longevity will
alter the age distribution in the population.
 The changes in the age distribution have a lot of
implications for the business. The pharmaceutical
companies may pay attention to the requirements of
the aged population. Increasing proportion of the aged
would have implications for the government. It may
increase the welfare burden of the governments.
Age structure of Population
 7-25 years - Study and focus on education (extreme poverty
can drive some to unfortunate child labor)
25-50 - Get married, raise a family and enjoy all that the
world has to offer
50-75 - Retire and focus on spiritual pursuits and
pilgrimages (People take pilgrimages to Varanasi, Mecca
(Haj), Himalayas, Amritsar, focus on Meditation, Yoga)
75- end - Help take care of grandchildren and share your
experiences with youngsters.
Demographic dividend and its
impact on business and growth
 Demography studies how populations changes
overtime, in terms of size and structure.
The demographic variables that affect business are
- Size of the population
- Age and sex of the population
- Ethnicity and geographical distribution
- Birth rate
- Death rate
- Net migration
Business and Culture : Religion,
 India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism,
collectively known as Indian religions.[4] India is one of the most
religiously diverse nations in the world, with some of the most deeply
religious societies and cultures. Religion still plays a central and
definitive role in the life of many of its people.
Religious beliefs , customs , sentiments etc have important
implications for business
Religions play important role in deciding holiday and starting
important work ventures
Influence attitude towards work and wealth
Riba in Koran
Astrological dates , festive and marriage season raises demand
Automobile spare part business dominated by Sikhs, money lending by
Chettiars in Tamil Nadu, Punjabi Restaurants – Punjabi By Nature,
Spanish Restaurant – Imperfecto, Chinese Restaurant – Yo china ;
Mainland China
Business and Culture : language
 Switzerland – 3 Languages – French , Italian , German
 India – 18 Recognized Languages
 Ford- Truck Name – Fiera(Ugly old woman in Spanish)
 Chevrolet Nova (Spanish Meaning – it doesn’t go)
 Pat on shoulder offensive in Thailand
Business and Culture - OB
 Centralized vs Decentralized decision making
 Safety vs Risk
 Individual vs Group reward
 Informal vs Formal Procedure
 High vs low Orgaizational Loyalty
 Cooperation vs Competition
 Short term vs Long term Horizon
 Stability vs Innovation
OB Differences
Other Socio Cultural Factors
 Consumer Preferences Habits and Beliefs
Western: “The early bird gets the worm”
Eastern:“The first bird in the flock gets shot”
 Nescafe – ¾ share in Mumbai Mkt , insignificant in Chennai
 Bicycles – Developing countries – Basic means of transportation
Developed countries – Means to stay fit and healthy
 Food habits, Juices, Coca Cola
 Etiquettes
 Color – White
 Rise in % of women workforce – double income, single parent
Technological development and
Social Change
 Development of new techniques, new inventions reflect
changing knowledge , beliefs and norms and new
standards of living
Women – Differentiated tasks, differentiated earnings, new
home appliances
Transport, communication made suburbanization possible
Films , TV Radio have become very helpful in transmission
and diffusion of information, Reduction of social distance
More industrialized and materialistic society - severe blow
to casteism
AC , dams – change in natural environment
Also have adverse effects like pollution ; global warming
The Indian Touch
 Fordcars specially designed for Indian roads.
 •Electrolux'smade‐for‐India fridge–chill drinking
water, keeps food fresh & withstands long power cuts.
•Samsung–microwave oven with grill.
•Nokialaunched a handset “Made for India”Nokia 1100.
•McDonald’s McAlooTikkiBurger & Pizza McPuff.
•Cartoon Networkintroduced South Indian folk tale
•Walt Disneycartoon TV shows are in Hindi.