Ways to Prepare in Your Hotel for a Business Meeting in India
This post was written and provided by Erica Gustafson who works as a freelance writer for Expedia. Gustafson travels to India quite often and this post derived from her prepping in her hotels for business meetings in India and how they can be different than meeting with a company based in the United States
If your business travels will be taking you to the culturally rich and beautiful country of India, you may find that long flights and layovers leave you with very little time to prepare yourself for the business meetings on your agenda once you arrive. Effective time management is of the utmost importance – and with little time to spare, the best place to get ready for a business meeting might be from the comfort of your hotel room.
Here is a checklist of things you can do in your hotel room to prepare yourself for a successful business meeting on your business trip to India.
Familiarize Yourself with Proper Business Etiquette
Regardless of where your business travels take you, you should always be respectful of the culture and practices of the country you are visiting. While you have time in your hotel room, do some research and familiarize yourself with proper business etiquette in India. Namaste, with palms together at the chest and a small head bow is the traditional way of greeting someone in India – however a simple handshake is also acceptable. It’s important to address people by their formal titles. If you are unsure, use the titles of Sir or Madam. Out of respect, it’s customary in India to address senior individuals first.
Another professional gesture is to include a Hindi translation of your business information on the flip side of your business card, and to both give and receive the card using your right hand. If your business meeting is going to be held in a restaurant, study up on dinner etiquette and learn some do’s and don’ts. Traditional practices in one country may be offensive in another. All of these tips and many more can be found online or in a travel book. Take the time to study them while in your hotel — knowing the proper way to conduct yourself will help you gear up for a pleasant meeting.
Learn “Small Talk”
Business meetings in India often begin with friendly small talk. The way you interact socially will speak volumes about you– and in order to build a good business relationship, you must establish trust. Socializing in a friendly yet professional manner is one of the best ways to build that trust. While in your hotel room, read the newspaper or check out the news online. Read-up on non-controversial topics such as sports or travel so that you have something to contribute to the conversation. Keeping up with current affairs will give you something interesting and relevant to discuss making both you and your colleagues feel more at ease.
Appropriate Business Attire
Positive first impressions are critical when it comes to business. Before you leave your hotel room, make sure you are wearing appropriate attire for your meeting. Men should wear light-weight suits, preferably in muted colors and tones, as well as a tie. For women, a pant-suit complete with a jacket is the best choice, but a dress would be acceptable as well.
Know Where You Need to Go
Punctuality is also important when attending a business meeting in India. While it isn’t uncommon for business meetings to start a bit late, you should always be on time when you are a guest. Use the time you have in your hotel to study the route you will be taking and to arrange for transportation if you need it. Make sure you jot down the phone number and address of the place where the business meeting will be held– if you get lost or stuck in traffic you will be able to let someone know that you might be late. Give yourself ample time to get where you need to go and avoid tardiness at all costs.
Once you’ve completed your preparation checklist, take some time to relax while at the hotel. Travelling can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. A short nap, some simple stretches, or a few minutes of meditation will help you re-energize.
The peace and quiet of your hotel room can serve as the perfect place for you to get ready for your business meeting in India. A busy schedule can leave you with little time to get ready, so use your time wisely. A little bit of preparation in your hotel room will undoubtedly make your business meeting that much more successful.