Should Indian business become more Western?

No, says Stephen Manallack, author and communications trainer in Australia. Instead, Indian businesses should preach morality as 'brand India's' ethos. The West is ready to listen.

"We must become more Western" was the comment from an Indian business leader who has been successful in the west. We had been talking about India's booming economy and the fact that, despite this success, business and political leaders in the west were talking a great deal about China but little about India.

But my friend thought some more and revised his analysis to: "It is not that we should be more western, but we must become better in our relationships with the West."

Now I could agree with him. Relationships are built on good communication and right now the Indian story is not being well communicated outside of India. Sure, the numbers are there, facts are listed, points are made, but this lacks the emotion and personal connection to be good communication.

China, on the other hand, is sending out "personality" type messages that have impact: massive scale combined with individual energy, the restless giant, and so on. Every Chinese business function I attend in the West has cultural impact; Chinese decorations, art forms, music and dress. These package the business and economic message in a personal and acceptable way.