The Differences Between Indian & American Businesses
Labor Force Differences
Businesses operating in India have a different relationship with their work force than American businesses. Unlike the U.S. or Canadian work forces, the Indian labor force is largely agricultural. Roughly two-thirds of India’s work force is employed in agriculture or rural industry. Around 9 percent of the total Indian work force is employed in an organized business sector. The remaining 91 percent of employees are self-employed or work as casual wage laborers. Non-contractual casual laborers (day laborers) have a close connection to labor market on a nearly daily basis. Businesses that use day laborers have little social responsibility to workers, benefits and Social Security are not provided, nor the guarantee of a paid day’s work tomorrow. According to the U.S. Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, as of 1991 the Indian labor force included some 55 million children, not including children that work for their parents.
In the North American business world, efficiency, adhering to deadlines and similar habits are considered normal business etiquette and are expected. In India, assertion or aggressiveness can be interpreted as disrespect. Indians are considered very good hosts and may invite you to their homes and indulge in personal talk. This is considered relationship-building, and is a part of doing business in India.
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