January 4, 2010

Do’s and Don’ts in Doing Global Business with Asian

The biggest challenge in doing global business is on how you are going to deal with the culture. A global entrepreneur must be aware of the differences in culture as well as to behave and interact accordingly with people from different continent.

Katy Dy in her article in BNET United Kingdom has the following tips on how to interact with asian market:

•Never touch a person’s head, even to pat a child, the head is the seat of the soul.

•Beckoning someone with the hand or finger is insulting as is standing with your hands on your hips.

•Never point your feet at someone. If your shoes or feet touch someone else, make sure you apologise immediately.

•The word ‘no’ is considered harsh in Asian culture. Evasive refusals such as ‘maybe’ or ‘I’ll try’ are preferred and regularly used.

•Always use formal titles when interacting with Asian clients, however many times you’ve met them.

•The use of leather products including belts, handbags and briefcases may be considered offensive.

•It is generally not socially acceptable for Asian women to be touched by any male other than husband or child. This is obviously changing as more and more Asian women are entering the corporate world and travelling globally for business, but if in doubt only shake hands with an Asian woman if she offers her hand first.

•Asians take themselves very seriously so the UK dry sense of humour and gentle banter that we take for granted is unlikely to be well received.

•Be aware of the deeply established caste system and understanding dharma and karma.

•It is inappropriate for a man to make any comment about a woman’s appearance.

•It is considered impolite to address a person who is older or holds a higher status by their first name. In Hindi, the first name is usually followed by “ji” to show respect.

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