Summary of Speaking of India

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Speaking of India book summary
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Craig Storti provides a straightforward, fact-based and eminently useful guide to culture and communication issues that complicate business between Westerners and Indians. Much of the literature on culture and business is vague and theoretical – so this book stands apart. The author targets the problems that are most likely to arise in commerce, offers detailed real-life examples and shows what practical solutions businesspeople can implement. He is evenhanded in his advice, offering tips to both Westerners and Indians. Most importantly, getAbstract finds that he is businesslike in his approach, focused, practical and realistic about what is achievable.

About the Author

Craig Storti is founder of a Washington, D.C. training and consulting firm. He wrote three other books, including Figuring Foreigners Out.



Indians, Westerners and Culture

Just speaking of Indians and Westerners seems overly general. For purposes of this discussion, the West encompasses the United States, diverse Northern European countries, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (but not the Mediterranean). Of course, genuine and important cultural differences separate, for example, Americans and Germans. However, Western cultures resemble each other enough that they differ from Indian culture in much the same ways.

India is hardly homogenous. Key differences exist among north and south, east and west, urban and rural, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jain and Sikh India. In fact, that only begins to draw India’s lines of distinction. In business, crucial differences also separate Indians who have worked in the West and Indians who have never left India. Still, Indians are more or less in the same band on a spectrum of communication styles, attitudes toward authority, and other traits that affect business.

People from any culture tend to define their culture’s way of doing things as the right and normal way to do them. These definitions are assumed and taken for granted, not explicit. And thus problems begin...

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