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from Expert Zone:

Making your mind up in India

(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

When I tell people at a dinner party in London that I’ve just been to India -- which I sometimes do because I’m frequently in India and I lived in Mumbai once -- people very often say to me, ‘Oh, how wonderful! I went there once. India’s so spiritual isn’t it?’ So I reply ‘Well, it probably is, but not the bits I go to’. By which I mean Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and all that -- bustling, busy, commercial and industrial India isn’t remotely spiritual. Or am I missing something?

I work all over the world. I notice how patterns in business vary between one country and another. I love working in India and I love being in India but it can drive you potty. Spiritual? No. Frustrating?  Definitely. I don’t just mean the appalling infrastructure and the absurd bureaucracy, I mean behaviour patterns inside corporations.

What I notice most startlingly about clients and potential clients in India is not spirituality but chaos sometimes leading to indecision. Are they indecisive because they are chaotic and trying to do too many things at the same time or are they seeking spiritual guidance? It sometimes takes literally months for people to make their minds up to go ahead with things. Now why is this? Is it because the chaos leads to timidity? Certainly not.