Why Indian Businesses Thrive Where Africans Fail?

By Mutabazi Sam Stewart

Indians are scattered all over the world. They are known for their business acumen which has made them professional commerce magnets wherever they choose to migrate to across the globe. From Silicon Valley, to Africa and Europe, they have stablished their footprint having their business thrive for years over generations. Their children are taught young to appreciate and grow with a positive business outlook and culture.  They are free spirited people who roam the globe in search of business opportunities. Their hunger for business is unquenchable. Their business intelligence is unequaled. They look for opportunities where there is none but soon they create something great out of nothing. They start small and grow big with time. Their patience is overpowering.

An Indian businessman will sit in their shop the whole day even when there are no customers coming. They can do anything to lure a customer. They like calling their clients their friends. They feel bad when a client complains. They are very swift at making decisions. They are rapid at delivery. Business is in their blood. They live simple lives with a complicated mindset inclined towards business opportunity. Indians are shrewd.  They rarely stay in mansions and swanky places. They love renting in the center of cities with cheap accommodations. They work long hours without tiring. These are just a few of the great attributes of Indians that have enabled them to excel where many Africans have failed.

Indians are very flexible people when it comes to business. Compared to Europeans and Americans who love red tape and paperwork, Indians are always agile and ready to change at any time so long as it makes business sense. Unfortunately, Africans copied Europeans and they also like creating unnecessary bureaucracies which are time wasting and superfluous. If you call an Indian to fix a business meeting, you don’t need weeks. If sounds lucrative, you will meet them the same day or even within hours. For Europeans and Americans you will need to go through the secretary to fix an appointment which normally takes weeks, if not months. The same with Africans who will require days and weeks and on the appointed day will either not show up or will come very late with a very lame excuse.

Indians are very humble. They can have great humility when they chose to. They know that the customer is a boss. They often go an extra mile to please him or her. Indians are very generous because they know from generosity, they will establish long term relationships with their clients. Indians love giving gifts and freebies when you buy from them. However small the gift may be it makes the customer to come back because it makes them feel appreciated. One of the other advantage of Indian businesses is that they love intra trading. They trade amongst themselves particularly when they find themselves in a different country. They supply each other with goods and services exclusively. They can only buy from another source that is not Indian only when one of their own doesn’t have what they are looking for. Wherever they are in a foreign country, they look at each other’s as brothers and sisters and not competitors.

The Indian working culture is embedded in their old civilization and is built on personal relationships. For instance it’s common for an Indian businessman to engage in a conversation about private life and family matters with a client which would ordinarily be seen as prying into delicate stuffs. However they do this purposely to get to know the customer better and to build long term connections and trust with a customer. Through having deep conversation with a client, the Indian businessman will create a long term bond which will mean more business for the company.

This is not to say that Indians are perfect in business and therefore don’t have any flaws. One of their major weaknesses is that they can bend the rule especially when they are dealing with shady government officials. Indians can bow to corruption especially when they realize that corruption is normal in a given setting. When dealing with corrupt government officials, an Indian businessman will offer a hefty bribe in order to get the business. They would have done their homework very well.

They know the language to use and are always cunning. In fact, while offering the bribe, the Indian business will again do so in a friendly manner that the official receiving the same will get the same good treatment like when the Indian has offered a service or a product. Even at that level, the Indian feels he has a duty to make a good relationship with the person they are bribing. Indians never want to antagonize their clients.  However at an individual business level, it’s unlikely that an Indian will offer a substandard service when they are aware because they know that one dissatisfied customer will negatively speak to others hence killing the reputation of the company in the long run.

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