Hosting Indian Guests: Key Business Etiquette and Cherished Japanese Cultural Experiences

Mayumi Folio
Mayumi Folio

Indians are said to respect their guests as if they were “gods.

If you are entertaining such important guests from India, you would like to provide them with thorough hospitality.

This article will provide you with Indian customs and basic knowledge of Indian business etiquette that you need to know in order to entertain Indian people.

Here are five custom-made Japanese cultural experiences that are perfect for special Indian hospitality.

Please refer to this page when you decide to entertain Indians.

Business Etiquette in India

Here are some Indian business manners.

Knowing the national character of Indian people and the basic knowledge of Indian business manners that you should know will help you to respond to them without rudeness.

Indian Cultural Background and Religion

India’s population has finally surpassed China’s at 1,407.56 million.

The capital of India is New Delhi in northern India, where the official language is Hindi, and different regions have different cultures and religions.

People in northern India tend to be more aggressive and active, while the further south you go, the slower and more generous people tend to be.

Most Indians are Hindu, and this applies to 80% of the population.

Hindu reforms are also underway by the Modi administration.

Muslims make up 14% of the population, but there is a growing repression of Islam under the Modi government and cultural clashes.

Although the birthplace of Buddhism has a strong image among the Japanese, the number of Buddhists is surprisingly small, accounting for less than 1% of the population, which is said to be smaller than the number of Christians.

Other religions include many Jains and Sikhs, who have many food taboos, so be careful when entertaining.

See also, Diamond Online, ” What Serious Problems Are Happening in India, Where Hinduization Is Rapidly Taking Place?

Ministry of External Affairs, ” Republic of India Basic Data.”

First impressions are very important

It is said that first impressions are very important when doing business with Indians.

Indians place great importance on cleanliness, so they respect cleanliness in clothing and hair.

Wrinkles and stains on suits and shirts are not acceptable, so when meeting an Indian for the first time, make sure you look presentable.

Women are also not to be trusted in clothing that is too flashy or emphasizes the body line.

Clean attire is recommended, especially for the first meeting.

It is important to be respected as a business partner, so both men and women should pay attention to their appearance.

Indian business sense

The differences in ethnicity between regions are so pronounced that it is said, “If you are setting up a company in India, you should find out in advance which region fits your company’s philosophy better.

The tendency is said to be that people in the north are more aggressive and the further south you go, the more generous people are.

And these days, many Indians are in the elite class with MBAs and less awareness of seniority.

Since many people hone their skills while changing jobs to advance their careers, the person in charge often changes suddenly.

The biggest difference between Japanese and Indian business sense is that in Japan, accuracy is strongly demanded, while in India, speed is most important.

It is said that many Indians feel that Japanese companies are slow in responding to their needs because the rhythm of business execution is so fast that many people are said to be able to handle multitasking.

On the contrary, however, Japanese people say that there are many mistakes, so be sure to check your work carefully.

Reference: Toyo Newspaper, ” There is no more nonsense than a seniority system in India.

Indian sense of time

Although Indians have an image of being very loose with time, this is not generally true in the business world.

In the Indian business scene, where speed is of the essence, it is wise to reply to e-mails and other messages as soon as possible, as Japanese companies seem to be slow to respond.

However, some say that the schedule should be considered only as a guide.

Since the confirmation process is not as thorough as in Japan, there are times when mistakes are made and deadlines are greatly delayed, so communication between the two parties is crucial.

On the other hand, they can be very impatient, and if the client is Indian, they may be asked to accommodate their convenience.

It is important to create good communication with them, as schedules and sense of time are only variable depending on the situation.

And in many cases when doing business with Indians, many parties and other get-togethers are planned.

It is always considered good manners to arrive 30 minutes late, and a slow atmosphere is preferred.

If you are already acquainted with the person, in that case, bring a small souvenir, but gifts that will be a memento tend to be more appreciated than the disappearing gifts that are common in Japan.

Many people place particular importance on communicating face to face with the other person, so if there is a chance, let’s set it up so that we can meet!

Indian way of business greetings

The traditional Indian greeting is ‘Namaste’ (Namaste) or ‘Namaskar’ (Namaska) with a slight bow, palms together.

Indian greetings are basically a handshake.

However, to greet a woman, the hands are clasped together in front of the chest in a “namaste” gesture, and the knees are gently bent.

Some internationally active women actively ask for a handshake, so shake hands when offered.

In this case, you should only respond to a woman’s request for a drink.

In India, people do not bow, so rather than bowing, look the person in the eye and greet them.

Business cards are also exchanged in India, but in a more casual manner than in Japan.

However, if you have interacted with a number of Japanese companies, they will be familiar with the Japanese style of exchanging business cards, so be respectful.

Reference: India Entry Blog/Tokyo Consulting Group ” Business Manners in India, Part 5

Business Entertainment in India

Indians consider it very important in doing business to know the other party in person, not by phone or e-mail.

Entertainment is still very important.

Here are some key points about business entertainment in India.

Indian Business Dinners – Points to Consider

Many Indians are vegetarian.

Therefore, prior confirmation is required for dinners.

Depending on the sect or religion, many people do not eat eggs or fish, so be sure to take precautions beforehand.

It is also important to confirm in advance where your partner is from and where his/her company is located, especially since many people from the South are vegetarians.

Since many non-vegetarians do not eat beef or are on a halal diet, poultry, lamb, and fish would be safe choices for the dinner table.

Halal food is required for many Muslim Indians.

Hindus do not eat cows, and Jains eat only plants and grains called lentis.

They don’t eat vegetables either, so you have to be very careful.

It is very important to note that in India, once you have a mouthful of food, it is considered “unclean,” so you do not share with others what you have already eaten.

Therefore, be aware that some people may not be comfortable with the sharing of a single dish in Japanese cuisine, such as nabe dishes.

People in northern India basically take their meals with a spoon, while those in the south tend to eat with their hands, so fewer Indians can use chopsticks than foreigners from other countries.

What kind of food do Indians enjoy?

In addition, Indian food is often very spicy, and some people do not like the taste of Japanese food at all, which is why many people find kaiseki cuisine difficult to enjoy.

Yakitori is recommended for Indian entertainment.

Many people like spicy food but also like sweet food, and yakitori sauce is reading popularity.

Many Indians also like oil dishes and often accommodate vegetarian menus, and tempura is also recommended.

Also, many people in India cannot eat sushi because fresh sashimi is rarely available in the country.

Of course, most international business people can use eating utensils, but it would be considerate to at least provide them with a fork or other eating utensil that is easy to eat when you are showing them Japanese food.

See also: LIVE IN NIHON, ” 5 Things You Need to Know Before Dining with Indians.”

Indians and the Manners of Drinking

In India, Hinduism is the majority religion.

In the Code of Manu, which is the norm for Hindus, drinking alcohol is one of the “five deadly sins”.

The following is a list of the most common problems with the

About 20% of the population is Muslim, and alcohol is also prohibited here.

So there is a very strict intolerance for alcohol consumption in India.

There is a belief that it is immodest for women to drink alcohol, and there are “prohibition states”.

Drinking age is 25 in Delhi and 21 or older in Mumbai, which are much stricter than in Japan.

Against this background, it can be a breach of etiquette to provide alcoholic beverages for entertainment.

October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, is especially popular as a non-alcohol day.

Note that there are many other days when alcohol is not consumed.

However, with modernization, drinking is becoming more open in urban areas and among international businessmen, so it is not generally true that all Indians are abstaining from alcohol.

It is important to ask about beverages at the beginning of the dinner, while preparing non-alcoholic beverages such as juice just in case.

This is because many people refrain from drinking alcohol in front of their superiors, and some people decide whether or not to drink depending on TPO.

Respect their religious beliefs and plan as much non-alcoholic entertainment as possible.

Souvenirs for Indians

In India, it is not customary to give souvenirs at the first meeting.

On the contrary, it is considered rude to give any gift at the first meeting, so souvenirs should be given after the interaction has deepened.

Conversely, souvenirs given after getting to know each other are greatly appreciated, so it can be said that souvenirs are an important custom.

Sweets and Japanese goods that are typical of Japan are recommended as souvenirs that Indian people will appreciate.

First, as for sweets, high-end Japanese sweets, such as those sold in department stores, are very popular among Indians.

Indians love sweets very much, so sweets are appreciated by people of all ages.

But be careful when you give it.

This is because among Indians, many of whom are vegetarians, some eat eggs and some do not.

If your partner is a complete vegetarian, Japanese wagashi is a good choice.

Many wagashi will be vegetarian, although you should always check because some wagashi use eggs in the dough or bean paste.

Many Japanese wagashi sweets, such as yokan and mame daifuku, are made without any animal products.

Bean sweetbreads are also popular with Asian people, so you will be pleased with them.

In addition, there are many egg-free snacks available in Japan that take allergies into consideration.

It will be very rare in India and will be greatly appreciated.

And we also recommend fancy Japanese-style goods.

Of course, there is personal taste, but Indians are also a people who prefer flashy colors.

Therefore, bold sundries with Japanese patterns are very popular as souvenirs, rather than those expressing the wabi and sabi that is typical of Japan.

We recommend it as a token of your closeness and as a memento.

Japanese cultural experiences that will delight Indians

Here are some of the many Japanese cultural experiences that we especially recommend for Indian visitors.

Kimono Experience

Many Indian women wear traditional costumes and are very elegant.

For Indian women visiting Japan, we highly recommend the Kimono experience, a traditional Japanese costume.

The Japanese kimono is a symbol of Japanese culture.

You can enjoy Japan more by putting on the sleeves of a very shiny and beautiful kimono.

Because the wearing of ethnic costumes is a natural part of Indian people’s lives, they will appreciate the charm of the kimono even more.

Indian people are very interested in glamour, so for special guests, we recommend an Ooku-style kimono experience.

Expensive and rare kimonos are very luxurious and special, and are very much appreciated by women who want to be fashionable.

If you wear the costume and provide for a photo shoot, it will be a very fun keepsake.

In addition, there are many aspects of Japanese culture that can be experienced by wearing a kimono.

If you are planning an entertainment event with plenty of time to spare, we recommend that you plan to experience Japanese culture in addition to kimonos.

In this way, experiencing Japanese culture through kimono will be a project that allows visitors to enjoy Japan more.

Recommended related articles:.

Transform yourself into a lady of the inner palace! Kimono experience to entertain wealthy foreigners

This article introduces basic knowledge about kimono and recommended cultural experiences for foreigners to enjoy wearing kimono.

History and Basic Knowledge of Kimono] How to Explain to Foreigners and Experience Traditional Japanese Culture by Kimono Wearing

An expatriate explains the Japanese kimono that foreigners like and why it is so popular. 14 basic kimono knowledge and 6 examples of kimono experiences.

Kabuki Experience

Private Kabuki viewing is a hospitality appreciated by VIPs and wealthy Indians.

First of all, for VIPs and wealthy Indians, to enjoy a Japanese cultural experience in a special space is an experience of being a special guest.

Since we have a culture of treating our customers politely as if they were gods, it is very easy for our hearts to be conveyed to them.

And, as a traditional Japanese performing art, it is difficult to enjoy Kabuki to the fullest without some knowledge of the art.

When viewing kabuki in a private space, kabuki actors will give you a detailed lecture about kabuki in advance, so you can enjoy kabuki more deeply.

And you can see Kabuki without visiting the theater, and you can enjoy Kabuki while you dine, giving you a chance to relax and enjoy the show.

In this way, a private Kabuki experience allows you to take the time to enjoy the “special” experience.

Wagashi Workshop

Indians have an image of being fond of spicy food, but in fact, many of them tend to love sweet food as well.

In the wagashi workshop, you can actually learn how to make wagashi from a wagashi maker and make very cute wagashi.

At first glance, it may seem difficult, but it will be very exciting as you can make seasonal wagashi with your own hands, mainly using nerikiri.

There are so many Indians who yearn for the Japanese seasons, and one of the charms of the wagashi experience is that you can enjoy the Japanese sense of seasonality expressed in the wagashi.

You can take home your own wagashi or enjoy them in the tea room while experiencing the tea ceremony in a relaxed atmosphere.

At that time, incorporating the popular kimono experience will also be a lot of fun.

In this way, the wagashi experience allows visitors to enjoy a wide range of Japanese culture.

Ninja Experience

The entertainment by ninjas is so spectacular that Indians who like to show off will be delighted with this Japanese cultural experience.

Among Japanese cultural experiences for foreigners, the ninja experience is popular among people of all ages.

In addition, ninja entertainment is greatly enjoyed at large parties and celebrations, as it allows people to enjoy the glamour and Japaneseness of the event.

The entertainment features a spectacular production structure, including ninja vs. samurai vs. kunoichi, and the state-of-the-art light and shadow lighting effects provide a powerful atmosphere.

You cannot take your eyes off the acrobatic ninja movements.

Thus, the ninja experience is a popular cultural experience for individuals and groups, and for people of all ages.

While there are places throughout Japan where you can experience the ninja, we still recommend a private ninja experience for VIP foreigners.

At Motenas Japan, you can actually learn martial arts such as shuriken and blowgun from the descendants of these ninja from trained ninja.

Ninja are very popular among foreign children through anime and manga, so it is highly recommended for VIPs with children.

Below are some related articles we recommend about the ninja experience.

[Very popular even in foreign countries! Ninja] How to explain to foreigners

Explaining the Ninja in English] 5 Recommended NINJA Experiences

Geisha Experience

The geisha experience is recommended for wealthy and VIP customers in India.

Geisha are the name of Japan.

In India, where the image of the “geisha” remains strong, geisha hospitality is still popular.

Geishas are professionals in hospitality and entertainment, and their excellent hospitality skills are the best in Japan.

Geishas have undergone rigorous training and have taken over the formal tradition of Japanese dance, a Japanese art form that is very much appreciated for entertaining Indians, many of whom are interested in traditional arts.

It has a special atmosphere and high potential suitable not only for entertaining, but also for private birthday parties and large celebrations.

Geisha usually remain in the system of refusing Ichigen-san.

However, many foreigners who would like to experience geisha are planning geisha experience tours, and Motenas Japan is ready to provide a tailor-made geisha experience.

Below is a detailed article on the custom-made geisha experience.

[Geisha Entertainment] Foreigners are very happy! Ozashiki games and performances as an event

How to plan a special birthday party for your loved one? Surprise them with a geisha! For wealthy foreign VIPs

If you are interested in the geisha experience, please read on.


In this issue, we introduced business etiquette and hospitality tips for entertaining Indian people.

If you are inviting Indian visitors to Japan for entertainment, you want to make sure that the hospitality is top-notch.

In India, cleanliness and speed are important, and customers are treated very respectfully.

These values may be in line with the Japanese national character.

Cultural exchanges between countries that share a spirit of mutual hospitality are sure to create deeper bonds.

In addition, because of the many restrictions on food, entertaining guests with Japanese cultural experiences tends to be very much appreciated. So, if you are worried about how to entertain Indian guests, please contact us at Motenas Japan.

Our professionals in the field of entertaining wealthy VIPs are ready to help you plan the best Indian entertainment, and together we will create a very successful entertainment experience for you!