Moving to India: An Expat’s Guide to Management in India

October 25, 2019 11:27 am Published by

There are many benefits and many things to address when considering moving to India and managing your company’s Indian operations. Here, we break down the things to think about before committing to the move. 

Population, Culture, Food and Language

According to World O Meter, India has a population of 1.3 billion, accounting for 17% of the world’s population and making it the 2nd most populated country on Earth. However, it’s only the 7th largest country, covering only 2.4% of the global land area, making India quite a bustling place to live. With a larger population comes the larger opportunity for managerial roles; the more teams, the more managers required.

Approximately 20,000-30,000 expatriates are also living in India. It could also be suggested that the large population, coupled with its popularity with expats could also mean that competition for senior positions such as managers is stronger than in other countries.

India’s official language is Hindi, which is spoken by around 30% of the population with English as the second most common language. However, it is also a highly diverse country, with a total of 37 languages spoken nationwide; proving that while Hindi and English language skills will likely be considered essential for managerial roles, other languages will not go unnoticed. Also, it is a home to numerous different religious and ethnic groups, although the large majority of the population are Hindu.

This country is a food lover’s paradise and each city have different cuisines to offer. Street food is widely and cheaply available and for vegetarians, India probably offers some of the most varied cuisines available worldwide.

There are a few things to remember to ensure you succeed as a manager in India. One crucial element to understand is the hierarchy involved within a business. Everyone in the company has a specific role and maintaining that role helps keep the organization and harmony company wide. You should also consider your reputation as a manager with all members of your team; respect is a significant aspect of Indian culture.

Your Role
As a manager, you should be prepared to provide regular feedback to your team, including the quality and time efficiency of the tasks completed. Managers in India often take quite a familial stance with their employees, making sure they have the guidance they need to be successful in their role. Take the time to get to know your employees a little more personally than maybe you would in other countries.

India’s culture is developing all the time, as different countries and businesses branch out into their economy. Managers should be aware of these changes and the impact they have on their employees, both personally and professionally.

Deadlines and Time Management
Standards around deadlines and the time allocated to tasks are taken very seriously in India. Considering how meeting, or not meeting deadlines may impact other areas of the business, is something that you need to bear in mind in your managerial role.

The best thing you can do is to research your potential new city. Forums make a great source of information, where Expats can provide advice based on their experiences. This information can prove invaluable for the lesser-known cultures and practices of Indian life.

Have more questions to be cleared on moving to India as an Expat? Get in touch with us and learn about how we can assist you with smooth migration to India: