Doing business in India can be difficult for the new executive sent on assignment to India. As the world’s second largest country based on population, India is expected to become one of the biggest economies by 2050, projected by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. What is strange is that India does not have a truly national language, unlike the other large economies such as China and the United States.
Many of India’s aspirational parents want their children to go to school where they are taught lessons in English. However, most of the students come out of school learning an entirely different language that would not be recognized in Chicago, New York, or London.This new language has become known as Hinglish – a mix of Hindi and English. This is totally different from the regional dialects of the United States that many of us are familiar with. To add to the communication confusion, the rest of the subcontinent speaks hundreds of regional vernaculars.
The mix of Hindi and English has come from the lack of strong English speaking teachers in India. Many English speaking schools are very expensive, allowing only the elite to enroll in these classes. Recently though, the most disadvantaged communities have been vocalizing demands for English teachings.This demand has some language chauvinists up in arms proclaiming that English is the “Trojan horse of globalization.”
With this mix of poor English mixed with Hindi in many dialects, doing business in India can become very difficult. Many times, clear and precise communication is required in business but with these hurdles to jump through, this seemingly simple task can be difficult.