My India business rule #2: Just assume that “what you see is NOT what you get”

 

My experience is that in India hardly anything is as it looks. Nothing is as good as it seems. Nothing is as bad as it seems.

 

What looks like total chaos, could very well turn into something relatively organized. Be surprised.

Something might look like it’s never ever going to finish in time. But as magic, the pieces come together just in time…or at least almost all the pieces, almost on time. Anyhow, you will be relieved.

On the business scene, you are in for a great variety of rule #2-experiencing. You will be relieved at first, since everything looks according to expectations. But as said, what you see is not what you get. So expect another color for every layer you peel off that onion. Just don’t give up, and you will be rewarded.

India is loaded with spirituality and complexity. Looking a little below the surface will de-mystify much of it. But, don’t worry…to compensate for the loss of complexity, India make sure all the simple stuff is thoroughly over-complicated.

Dharavi is Bombay’s largest slum area. Would you expect to find a massive small-scale recycling industry there, with an estimated USD 665 million turnover? No? Ok. So go there, as I did. Be surprised and impressed. I am not claiming the conditions are good, just not as single-sided horrible as it looks.

So for the ones that will affect you more than everything else combined – people. My rule fully applies. So dive in to be impressed, amazed, but maybe also irritated and disappointed. More than anything – you will be constantly surprised.

Anyhow, the key take-home is: what you see is NOT what you get.

And once you get used to it, you will keep coming back for more.