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Breaking cultural barriers

Date: 03/26/2006 | Category: Business | Author: arvind

With world becoming smaller and smaller day-by-day, more people from different cultures are shaking hands to strike business deals. It is no wonder that a car conceptualized in the USA, designed in Italy, parts manufactured in India and assembled in Germany will be sold in Latin America. It is also not difficult to find a Japanese leading an American firm. While large organizations have been somewhat successfully marketing their wares for quite a time, small business owners find it challenging to sell their wares in foreign countries with equal ease and success. 

Cultural backgrounds are varied to such an extent that what may be treated normal in one country, will be perceived to be extremely insulting in some other country. Take for example, Indians will feel deeply insulted if your foot touches the body of an Indian and you don’t apologize for this. This is not the case for an American. A Chinese may say ‘I am not sure’ only to mean ‘no’. An Italian will prefer to arrive late at a meeting, while a Brazilian will look at you with respect if you reach late at a meeting! 

We must study and understand these differences in cultures before we set foot to start doing business with foreigners. Prepare a detailed document on do’s and don’ts before the communication line opens. This will lead you to own a healthy international business.

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