Going the distanceRanjini Maniyan, CEO of Global Adjustments, guides expats on adapting to work in Indian offices.
Attitudes toward business and management undergo big changes as you travel across cultures. Here's how expats working in India can bridge the divide and make working in an unfamiliar environment a breeze.Reset your Watch
In India, our days are longer and we don't feel the same sense of urgency about keeping strictly to schedule. You will save yourself, and your team, a lot of stress by setting minor milestones before the ultimate deadline and keep checking up regularly.Expect the Unexpected
As an employee, giving bad news is considered bad form, so Indians try to avoid it. For instance, despite being aware of their unavailability on crucial days, they won't inform you till very late in the day. Keep the lines of communication open by using phrases like 'feel free to tell me' and 'will this not work out?'Don't go by First Impressions
In India, the external isn't as important as the internal. The shirt may not be tucked in and the cuffs may not be bottoned down, but the performance might just be brilliant. Even though you can encourage grooming, don't judge those who aren't all about it.Steer Clear of the Jalebi Syndrome
Just as the Indian dessert jalebi twirls in hot oil forming concentric circles till it reaches a point, Indians tend to go round in circles before getting to the point. This is particularly true when asked a question. Encourage your team to be focussed and specify that you need to the know the exact deal. Repeating the question or raising your voice will be viewed as a downright insult. There's no harm in encouraging a sense of directness without being rude.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
From vegetable prices to salaries, negotiation is a national pastime in India. This is true in business as well. Be prepared for the non accounted 'give and take' that accompanies deals and even day-to-day work in Indian companies.Re-draw the Lines
Going by western standards, Indians might appear as standing too close for comfort. For instance, they might complete a sentence you begin. This is not done to invade physical and mental space, but just as informal closure. Expect this to happen and gently adapt. When someone interrupts your sentence, freeze and be patient.(The writer has recently authored the book 'Upworldly Mobile' on the same subject)
MASSAGE ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
Tips on administering a shiatsu massage
Winningla Shimray of the Quan Spa at the Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre, gives tips on administering a shiatsu massage at home. What is it The word shiatsu originates from the Japanese words 'shia' meaning finger and 'tsu' meaning pressure.
Before you begin
It is important to identify the body's 12 meridien points, a massage around which not only relieves muscle knots but also eases and stimulates organs. To find these download an accupuncture chart from acupressure. com and understand the average positioning of these points. Then rotate your thumb or fingers around these points to the find tender areas.Technique
The patient must lie on his or her stomach either on the ground or on a hard mattress. The massage should ideally begin at the neck and shoulders, because this is where the biggest muscle knots are. Slowly move to the forearms and then on to the back. The back muscles tend to be both tight and loose. Use elbows to exert greater pressure on softer points and a gentle press of the palms on stiffer sections. Depending on the requirement, you can work from 5-15 minutes on a single area.
The breathing should be slow and in harmony to the strokes of the massage. Also, even though shiatsu is traditionally a dry massage, you can use heated herbal oils to enhance the effect.
SAVE THE SUEDE
Suede is a winter favourite
With its velvety soft and smooth feel, suede is a winter favourite. But on stain on this pliable and soft fabric can turn it into a stubborn beast, forcing an expensive trip to the cleaners each season. Here are some tips on cleaning suede.Rubbing
Begin by gently brushing a dry towel or a suede brush against the fabric in vertical strokes. This brings back a marginal amount of its nap. Now, take a square-shaped brown art gum eraser and rub it delicately on the stains. This removes stains and hidden dirt in the material. Follow this by repeating the first step.Brushing In
case your suede is dry and crusty, typically in pants and accessories like boots, heels and hats, rub a soft old toothbrush or nailbrush over it in quick light motions. Quick Fixtures To keep the stain from setting in, sprinkle cornstarch onto the stain immediately and let it sit for about an hour. You can also brush it with a cloth dipped in white vinegar. These materials soak up all excess oil and salad dressing.Rule of Thumb
If you've gotten the suede soaked, wait till it dries down. Rubbing, or even touching, wet suede can cause smudges and tears.THE ART OF TABLE TALK
Mumbai based etiquette expert Shital Kakker Mehra speaks out on the unspoken norms and protocols of table talk during business gatherings. The First Word Small talk is an excellent ice breaker and helps ease the initial awkward moments.
To make impromptu conversation, one must be updated on current affairs, books and movies, new technology and travel. Since most people love to talk about themselves, directing the conversation towards others' background and choices will keep the conversation going without you having to do much.
For this, you must do your research on the people attending the event. It is equally important to involve everyone on the table, especially by prompting the quieter ones to speak.
Perfect Timing Since business meals are at the crossroads of work and leisure, it may be rude to bring in work randomly. At a breakfast meeting, keep to small talk till everyone is served their drink and at a power lunch, wait for everyone to be served a drink and an appetiser. For dinners, keep business out till the appetisers are served.
Quick Tip Avoid sensitive subjects, like relgion and politics, which may arouse radical opinions. These may trigger needless unpleasantries and damage important associations.
BASICS OF STAINED GLASS ART
The artistic charm of bright light passing through church windows is the first thing that comes to mind when one imagines the medieval churches of Europe and their stained glass marvels.
Cutting Use a stained glass cutter which consists of a tiny wheel made of carbide, and an outlet of oil for lubrication.
Colour Instead of painting, dip the pieces into solvent glass colours Joining Place a copper foil (which is copper on one side and adhesive on the other) on the edges of the glasses and join them together.CAFFEINE CLINKSRohit Sharma, head mixologist at Le Meridien, New Delhi, spills the beans on coffee cocktails. Sweet one moment and bitter the next, here are some excellent recipes for the winter:
1. Traditional Irish Coffee
Irish Whiskey 60 ml Espresso 60 ml
2. Mexican Magique
Tequila 45ml (preferably 100% agave)
3. Calypso Cocktail
Dark Rum 45ml(preferably aged rum)
Tia Maria 15ml
1. Coffee cocktails are best had warm so allow a piping-hot espresso to cool slightly before working with it.
2. Mix a bar spoon of superfine white sugar. Stir well.
3. Add the liqueurs in fine strains
4. Top with whipped cream or fresh cream and serve in wine glass caramelised on the rims. Quick Tip If too sour, add some vanilla beans for sweetness.