Complex, Imaginative Indian

Here is a business article “Negotiating with the complicated, imaginative Indian” about behavior of Indian businessmen.  I wonder if it is simply a stereotyping or there lies a profound analysis.

Paper starts with example of failure of Enron project. Paper proposes a conjecture that it failed because Enron managers couldn’t understand Indian counterparts. As I understand, that project failed not because of mis-understanding but careless analysis of the issues by both the sides and the probable corruption revolves around the project. Even if, it is true that the project failed due to some cultural mis-understanding then paper should have shown the alternative way Enron could have behaved in concrete instances.

The paper is written in very bad mode. It explains to a “North American Manager” the behavioral characteristics of an “Indian Manager”. Indirectly, It assumes that North American is the reader.  The paper explains the points over which the Indian manager deviates from an ideal behavior, as some kind of character flaw.  For example, paper says that Indian manager demands all sorts of ‘unnecessary’ information. The reason for this demand North American manager fails to understand. The paper suggests American Manger to be patient but no suggestion for Indian Manager to clearly state the reason why he needs certain information.

Paper states that Indians are most nationalist people in the world. I find it hard to believe as there are so many separatist movements going on. The paper connects this to Colonial era. May be there is some truth in it but I don’t think Indians, who are exposed enough to western world, are having inferiority complex all the time.

Paper says Indians are blend of East and west. Indians are individualist at the same time collectivist. Due to this duel attitude, it becomes hard to predict Indian manager. I find it a strange observation. I guess everyone is somewhat composed of both the attitude. An American may be more individualistic than a Japanese or other way round. How can one make such a concrete claim?

It seems like a masters thesis of a complex imaginative HR Guru.


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