following answers were graciously supplied by Meenakshi
Chandra, H.R., Ernst & Young Pvt. Ltd., Calcutta.
Question - Can you describe what a morning
business meeting would be like in India?
A Morning Business Meeting in India, is actually not very
different from regular meetings held during the day. There
are no hard and fast rules binding this meet, but yes there
are a few ettiquetes to be followed. The Participants of
the meeting have to be formally dressed for the occasion,
unless specifically mentioned to them before hand, while
deciding on the agenda of the meet. They are requested
to be on time at the designated venue, and once all are
assembled, each of the participants would be required to
get acquainted with the others present.
initial formalities are over, all participants proceed
towards breakfast. As the style for serving is buffet style,
all mingle around and the preliminary discussions on the
agenda of the meet usually start. This time usually is
spent in getting acquainted, comfortable with all present.
entire breakfast is over, the real sit down discussions
Do they serve breakfast items and if so, what type of food?
Yes they do. The breakfast menu can comprise of various
- can be both vegetarian and non vegetarian. A variety
of sandwiches is usually served. Ranging from club sandwiches,
cheese sandwiches, vegetable sandwiches, chicken sandwiches.
nationalities and the eating preferences of the guests
is known then ham/beef sandwiches can be served. This is
an important issue to be kept in mind because in India,
for the Hindu community eating of beef is forbidden, as
the Hindus consider the cow to be a sacred animal. Thus,
this item is not served as a part of the menu, if the guests
are all Hindu by religion. To serve beef to a Hindu is
taken as an offense. However, exceptions are always there.
ham is a forbidden dish to serve to the Muslim community.
So this is also avoided if there are any Muslim guests
present at the meeting, because it offends their religious
2. A South
India Delicacy is also common as a breakfast item, i.e.
Idli. Idlis are small cakes made of 'rice' and 'Dal'.This
is served with" Coconut Chutney" and "Sambhar" i.e.
a mixture of seasonal vegetables cooked in spices. It is
a gravy dish.
- freshly cut fruits in syrup is appreciated.
Fresh fruit juice and
- How would the food be served?
The food would always be served in Buffet style. This enables
intermingling of all the guests present.
Would it be acceptable to begin at 9:00 am?
It is definitely accepted to begin the meeting at 9:00
AM sharp. At times meetings do start before that also.
Is punctuality important in India?
It is very important.
What is the preferred way of seating for a meeting?
If the participants are 20 in number, then the seating
arrangements are organised in the in the Board room style.
If the number of participants is more than 20 then the
seating arrangement is done in a U Shaped table, or in
a hollow shaped rectangular table. or it can also be organised
in a theatre style
What would be an acceptable length of time for a meeting?
Meetings can go on for the whole day from 9:00A.M. to 6P.M.-
of course Breaking off for Tea/Coffee(twice)and lunch.
It depends on the requirement.
Is technology accepted, i.e., teleconferences or videoconferences?
Yes - This is the most economic and accepted mode of conference.