Trade Guide: India

Do you know?

With a population of 1.2 billion people, India (official name: the Republic of India) is the second most populous country in the world, and thanks to its remarkable growth in recent decades, has become the world’s fourth largest economy, and the third largest in Asia, behind China and Japan.

“Do’s and Don’ts”


  • Remain flexible. Plans can and do change at the last minute in India
  • Show patience – things in India can take longer than expected.
  • Feel free to negotiate and haggle. It is expected.
  • Address another person with their formal name and title unless or until you are asked to use a more informal name.
  • Express any disagreements or criticisms with the most “gentle” and diplomatic language possible.


  • Express frustration or anger
  • Use high pressure tactics during negotiations.
  • Use the left hand for eating, serving food, or giving or receiving things. It is considered unclean.
  • Shake hands with a woman (if you are a man).
  • Always interpret every “yes” as an actual “yes”. Many Indians prefer to avoid using the word “no”. When someone says “I will try my best”, it could actually mean “no”.

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