Success tips when doing business in Asia
Asia is a large and diverse continent with a booming economy. Healy Consultants advises foreign entrepreneurs to prepare in advance by reading through these success tips. Our Clients should bear in mind that the following tips are only a rule of thumb, and Asian countries may operate differently.
- Different regions in Asia can greatly vary in business etiquette. Prepare a thorough research for the country you will be doing business;
- In Asia any negative remarks or comments should always be made in private so as not to insult the counterpart, be it a business partner or an employee;
- Asians are generally introverted by character and “saving face” is deeply embodied into their culture;
- Physical contact common in Western culture, namely handshake, a pat on the back or putting your hand on someone’s shoulder should be avoided during business meetings throughout Asia, especially in Muslim countries;
- The exchange of business cards is an important aspect of Asian business culture. It is considered professional to exchange business cards at the end of every official meeting. Plus, make sure to at least read the card before pocketing it;
- It is largely considered impolite to address a person who is older or holds a higher status by their first name. For example, in Hindi, the first name is usually followed by “ji” to show respect;
- Punctuality is not embedded in Asian culture as in Western countries. Be prepared for late arrival of your counterparts;
- Governments play large roles in countries like China and India. Our Clients should be prepared for bureaucracy and delays in business matters;
- During business meetings always mind the quiet individuals. In Asia it is often the case that the most quiet person holds the highest rank and is most important;
- Always be vigilant for shady business practices, including bribes and “gifts exchange”. Such can make or break your business.