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Business Success in any Language


The UK Prime Minister has recently led a high profile UK delegation on an economic and cultural ‘charm offensive’ to India.  I’m pleased to say that, amongst the great and the good, there were 30 UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs); in my opinion, SMEs are the life blood of the UK economy.

Mr Cameron is not alone in courting India, which, incidentally, is the second trip of his premiership.  This time, Mr Cameron’s visit comes hot on the heels of ‘Le Président de la République Française’, François Hollande.  So, why are they both doing this?  Could it be because India is predicted to become the world’s biggest economy by 2050?

On this trip, The Prime Minister has had his work cut out, as relations on a large helicopter deal have gone sour and Indian students to UK universities are struggling with obtaining a UK visa, once they have completed their studies.  Fortunately, the UK immigration rules for international students will be changed, and it’s not too soon, because we need to cultivate good, solid long term relationships in order to foster strong economic and business ties internationally.

However, UK businesses have a responsibility themselves to establish good, long term business relationships, and interacting effectively with a different culture takes time, and a willingness to adapt and understand others.  I call it ‘parking your cultural DNA’.  Those that do will reap the rewards.  Those that don’t will not, whatever the Prime Minister or ‘le Président’, are doing for their respective nations.

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