New Delhi, India (PressExposure) August 18, 2014 -- iRikai, a New Delhi based language and communications consultancy recently launches there Japanese Business Etiquette course in New Delhi. "The Japanese culture is one of the more intricate in the world. Unless you appreciate the intricacies, there is a chance that you may end up inadvertently causing offence, which can be a deal-breaker," says a company official. iRikai offers a bouquet of courses in International Business Etiquette for Indian and international clients, which covers cultural aspects of doing business with India, Japan, South Korea, the US, the UK and even the Netherlands. "Our focus is always to give people an understanding of the cultural context which drives behavior, rather than push stereotypes. For example, in order to understand why it is not a good idea to contradict a Japanese business partner in public, we would first explain the importance keeping "face" and "harmony" in Japanese society."
Such courses are booming at a time when interactions between Indian and Japanese firms seem to be growing. Last year, the number of Indian business visas issued to the Japanese went up by 80%. A large number of Japanese investors are looking at India as an attractive investment destination, while Indian firms are looking at Japan for fund raising as well as a market for their IT and BPO industries, where language has often been a barrier. A large number of Japanese firms have ramped up manufacturing presence in Neemrana, turning it into a veritable little Japan, and a host of hotels and restaurants have come up to serve the needs of Japanese expatriates. This trend is expected to continue with India's "look east" policy and the new Indian PM, Mr. Narendra Modi sharing a good rapport with Japanese PM Mr. Shinzo Abe. With the Japan-China relationship at a low, and costs of doing business in China increasing, India has the potential to attract a lot of the investment that is currently diverted to China, if it can remove some of the traditional policy bottlenecks. PM Modi is said to be in a good position to achieve this and put India back on the growth trajectory.
Among the likely beneficiaries of increasing Japanese investor interest are not just manufacturing firms, but also relocations firms, recruitment firms, hospitality firms, and language and communications consultants like iRikai. "The number of people coming to us for courses in Japanese Business Etiquette has gone up substantially in the last few months," said the iRikai official, "and the wide range in audience backgrounds has been heartening. From manufacturing companies to IT firms and even private equity firms, we have been able to customize our courses to help clients overcome the challenges of communicating with the Japanese. We provide extreme customization - from something basic like how to use chopsticks, to more complex assignments such acting as intermediaries for negotiations with Japanese firms, and from 3 hour crash courses for busy CEOs to 3 day training programs for batches of software executives."
On being asked about the future potential of such courses, the official replied, "for us, it's about the larger picture. There is a lot of natural synergy between the two countries, and historically friendly ties. We feel we need to leverage this platform for the benefit of both countries. An appreciation of business culture can help avoid the misunderstandings and frustrations that can result when dealing with a business culture that seems like a polar opposite to yours. It is not just one way - I feel there is plenty of opportunity for Japanese firms to learn about Indian business culture as well, so our Indian business etiquette course helps Japanese companies understand how Indians do business. In the end, it is about building a bridge and meeting half way, for the longer term benefit of both countries."