Continental Europe Warming Up to Indian Markets

The executives of the Indian IT industry are known for their sense of style, but there is a flip side too which Indian geeks should really focus upon. Ever heard of caste and gender prejudice stalking the IT corridors?

According to a survey carried out by a London-based outsourcing advisory firm though Europeans appreciate our dressing sensibilities, but caste and gender discrimination have left a more bitter taste in their mouths. The later has an high impact on the former.

The firm surveyed almost 35 top companies across Europe, asking them to talk about the obstacles they face while doing business with their Indian counterparts.

Different countries had different versions.

Nordic region companies talked about the awkwardness in attitude of the Indian men when it comes to interacting with their female counterparts. It is often observed that Indian teams sent for sales pitches don’t comprise even a single woman. On the other hand the people they are pitching too are generally women.

Business deals are generally fixed during drinks and dinner but Indians generally lack the adeptness to manage it.

Another disappointing factor that has come to the fore is that respondents felt that Indians over commit and also are not very flexible when it comes to sharing information.

Further, Indians working onshore in Europe made little or no attempt to assimilate with the local people, rather preferred socializing and living with other Indians.

However, despite all these negative feedbacks, Continental Europe is proactively looking forward to do business with Indian Outsourcing companies.

Significant goings-on have already been observed in the Benelux which includes Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg as well as Germany.

Nonetheless, the Nordic countries are showing much more interest. Nordic countries are home to heavyweight companies like Ikea, Nokia, Shell and Ericsson.

According to a top source from a leading advisory firm, if one communicates with 10 companies in Germany for potential business prospects, in all probability only two will respond. On the other hand, if one contacts 10 companies in Nordic, rest assured at least 7 will give a call back.

That continental Europe is upbeat about India is justified by the fact that India major TCS is doing a good business here. TCS has witnessed its European share doubling to 30 percent in the last 10 years.

Moreover, though Europe looks upon India as a traditional country, the continent by far has not been able to do away with its rigid mindsets.

Europe still looks at IT as an integral function of the company and therefore hesitates when it comes to outsourcing the same. Case in point being: German Pharma giant Bayers and chemical major BASF. Though both these have international operations, however they still retain IT services in house and employ almost 20,000 people for the job.

However, global meltdown has put the companies on a contemplation mode. By now they’ve figured out that outsourcing is the key to cutting costs. However, Indians have their own set of challenges when trying to enter these markets.

In continent Europe, business is based on relationship-building, unlike the US and UK markets, where businesses are purely revenue-focused.

When it comes to UK and US markets, Indian IT companies just send a few people on project basis. Here they focus much more on the verticals and are not at all regionally focused.

When it comes to European markets, Indians just can’t do with knowing the business nuances, they need to know the intricacies of the culture as well.

Some big players like TCS, Infosys, HCL and Cognizant realizing the potential of the European market have started investing here in a more sustainable fashion.

As Indian companies slowly but surely seem to grab the eyeballs of more and more clients, the European companies in turn are warming to the idea of off shoring and working hand in hand with Indians. The best parts being they even have opened up to the idea of accepting Indians in the IT consultative or advisory space.