Business Commentary for Rational Individuals

Making Business Deals in India and China

Dr. Bill Belew

Issue III - June 25, 2006

Introduction by Mr. Stolyarov: Many Indian students come to the United States to learn new job skills and advance their careers. But now many American students have also begun coming to India with similar intentions. Dr. Belew writes about this emerging trend and the corresponding realization that doing business with other countries requires extensive first-hand knowledge of those countries.

It used to be, well, perhaps it still is, that Indian students did their darndest to come to the US to go to grad school, learn business, or master the technology of the computer.

Now, there has been a turn. American college grads are opting to go to India.

A stint working in India can be quite an addition to a young worker's resume.

India's high-tech and banking companies need skilled workers.

A company like Infosys, which has grown from 500 workers to 50,000 workers in the past dozen years, has hired many young Americans.

Of course, the biggest obstacle to a Californian or any other American going to India is the major cultural adjustment.

But, therein lies the reason for going. A person wanting to do business with India or China or any other country for that matter, and who wants the respect of Indians and Chinese ought to -- make that needs to -- make the plane trip and take the rite of passage in a foreign country.

At a recent summit I attended on investing in China and India, the single most expressed theme of the conference was that -- if you want to do business with Indians and Chinese:

1. Get on an airplane!

2. Make the trip.

3. See the countries first-hand.

4. Make friends.

5. Then sign deals.

It seems some young Americans are taking this more seriously.

What do you think?


Dr. Bill Belew is a former Intelligence Officer for a Destroyer Squadron. He lived 20 years in Japan, where he started a language school for Japanese ECS. Dr. Belew teaches classes for a vocational school and online for a national university.

See Dr. Belew's blog, PanAsianBiz, for news and discussions about business and current events in Russia and Asia. See ZhongHuaRising for Dr. Belew's reports on business in China, RisingSunofNihon on business in Japan, and TheBizofKnowledge on business education.

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