Cross cultural differences starts at home: news anchors, newscasters or newsreaders are terms for one and the same thing yet used depending on which part of the world you are from or the broadcaster you are watching. These news anchors used to refer to their colleagues in the field as “our man in …” until, I suppose, that phrase became politically incorrect when women joined the field. The people in the field remain the experts though as they are close to the news source, capable to discover the facts first hand, and above all able to verify the facts being reported.
Over the years I have seen many projects fail or falter as the companies involved did not bother to hire an India expert. Certainly, you can hire one of the Big4 consultancy firms who will eagerly assist you with high level tax implications. This is not quite what I mean though. If you plan to set up a factory in India you should verify what the ground realities are: power, water, road conditions, state support, etc. It boils down to the old saying of real estate agents: location, location, location. And that indeed has a price tag.
I have seen companies write off significant amounts: the factory built was not allowed to operate. Another company had set up shop in a low cost area only to find itself struggling to hire qualified staff. Yet another had sourced a location in the winter: during the monsoon the national highway used to access it was washed away and the approach to their factory seriously hampered for months. Another company had blundered with an outsourcing deal to one of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant companies under pressure of unrealistic targets set by it’s Board of Directors.
We all apply risk assessments and risk mitigation methodologies and yet these things frequently happen.
If you have plans to venture into India, something you ought to have, do allow for time and funds for your business plan to be overhauled and the start up phase to be accompanied by an expert. It will pay dividend and peace of mind.