Mumbai is definitely the financial centre of India and Bangalore
her Silicon Valley but Delhi is the seat of government and
enjoys a thriving economy. In 2000-01 Delhi’s economy grew
at a rate of 4.5% and, since 1993-94, has grown more rapidly than
the national economy. The Annual per capita income in Delhi, at
Rs38,864 (about £570), is more than double the national average.
Almost 80% of Delhi’s economy is in the tertiary sector, with
financial services, insurance, real estate, hotels and restaurants
the major contributors.
India’s economy has advanced greatly, not only since Independence
more than 50 years ago but also with 10 years of reforms under its
belt. The economic reforms established in 1991 can, by many measures,
be counted a great success.
The liberalization of industry, devaluation of the Rupee
and lowering of trade barriers provided for a powerful boost
to the Indian economy. The government is totally committed to privatization
– the recent sale of a portion of its stake in Indian Petrochemicals
is proof that the program is gathering momentum. Inflation
has declined from 14% in 1991 to 4% in 2000. Direct foreign
investment has, over the time period, grown from almost zero to
US$2 billion a year, while remarkable growth in the software
industry which in 2000 generated an estimated US$8.3 billion
worth of exports, up from a standing start in 1990. In 1990, India
faced the possibility of defaulting on her foreign debt. She now
has US$40 billion worth of foreign exchange reserves.
However, economic growth has since declined for the second year
in a row – it now stands at 6%. The crisis in Kashmir
jeapordises political stability, fiscal equilibrium and inward investment.
Meanwhile, the highly publicized scandals, which brought the Indian
government to a virtual standstill, continue. Despite the advances,
The booming economy of the 1990s has failed to produce the millions
of low-skilled jobs that India needs. Agriculture still accounts
for 1/4 of GDP, which exposes the economy to the vagaries of the
Both central and state governments have experienced enormous deficits,
which hinder their ability to invest in the nation’s infrastructure.
Unemployment also remains high. Exact figures are difficult
obtain,– the 2001 census produced the figures for ‘non
workers’ in India as 62.5% of the population. This is
higher in Delhi, at 68.4%. Of these figures, approximately
30% are students and pensioners.
with a presence in Delhi include HSBC banks, Citibank, Standard
Chartered and Price Waterhouse Coopers, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft,
Macmillan and Penguin.
Delhi'scentral business district is near Connaught Place,
with secondary commercial centres at Nehru Place and Rajendra Nagar.
When greeting, people of Indian put both hands together as
if in prayer and tilt the head forward. Women in India may not like
to shake hands; however, men will be fairly comfortable with
There are 18 official languages and 1,600 minor languages and dialects
in India, making language a very political topic. The Government
promotes the use of Hindi, which is widely spoken in Delhi and the
north. English is normally adequate for most business circumstances.
Corporate entertaining is an integral part of Indian business culture,
making business lunches and dinners potentially disastrous. The
1st rule is that Indians only eat using the right hand –
It is OK to use the left hand to hold a cup or utensil but should
not be used for eating or passing food within polite society. As a general
rule, the left hand should not be used for passing anything or pointing
at anyone. To show respect, when accepting gifts or business cards with
the right hand or both hands at the same time.
The other forbidden body part is the foot. Shoes must be taken off before
entering a private home and, when sitting, feet should not be pointed
Indians dresses are very conservative and women should make sure that they
simply dress with shoulders and legs covered. Trousers are acceptable
but shorts or short skirts are sometimes considered to be offensive. Even
when it is very hot, it is anticipated that men wear suits and should not
forget the country’s British Raj heritage – Men wear
dress for dinner and blazers for afternoon drinks.
Visitors invited to the hallowed ground of the Gymkhana club, for
example, must be dressed in a jacket and tie or be automatically ruled
out. (Tee-totalers are not much favored either).
New Delhi is still very much attached to the days of the Raj, in
more ways than one. The legacy of its bureaucratic and political
culture means that business is conducted following the idiosyncratic
Indian Standard Time – the same time zone (GMT +
5.5) is applicable to all areas of the country.
hours are 09.30 or 10.00 am to 5.30 or 6.00 pm.
As in the rest of India; however, Delhi is keen to be online with
the rest of the world. Internet cafés resorts and hotels have
sometimes slow and sporadic connection by satellite. It is still
quite difficult to get a telephone line in India. Laptops can be connected
to the Internet but the adapters required for Indian telephone sockets
are difficult to come by.