After three days of sitting through a few meetings in India, I couldn’t help but observe a few uncommon commonalities that characterize the business environment here – judge for yourself:
- Meetings are in Hinglish – it is a mix of Hindi and English – completely interchangeable and my brain is spinning as I think I understand but then realize half of it is passing through me…
- If the boss is in the room, noone else speaks or answers your questions. Given we are always in meetings with other 15 people (the size seems to grow everyday) – there are a lot of people that never say anything. One on one meetings are very hard to get. I asked the guy next to me a question but he waved me off with the gesture “we will get to it later”.
- Chaos! Everyone speaks over everyone, no structure in questioning or order. Listening just doesn’t work very well. It is like 5 conversations happening at the same time. You just scribble whatever you caught someone say here and there and go on.
- If the question is not convenient, noone answers it…. basically go by rule “only answer what you want to answer”.
- Constant disruptions of people serving water, tea, cookies, chicken, water, pepsi, cookies, chicken, salad, tea – all very nice and hospitable but since the water is tap, we can’t touch it so a bit awkward everytime.
- Phones ringing constantly, people picking it up during the meeting and just talking very very loudly – not stepping out or whispering but literally taking a call in the middle of the meeting!
- Everything is always perfect, there are no challenges, problems, improvements – data will come later – it is all rosy all the time 🙂
- Meeting rooms very basic, no computers, no decks.
So, I am adjusting but honestly, finding it very difficult as you never get what you wanted b/c there is no agenda, control over the meeting and just plain chaos.
Ah – and did I mention we are in the newspapers again? This is going to be daily now as the media is following us everywhere, there are usually more cameras than people!