Author Topic: Cultural differences and Business Etiquette  (Read 1383 times)

Reyed Mia (Apprentice, DIU)

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Cultural differences and Business Etiquette
« on: June 27, 2017, 10:01:40 PM »
Cultural differences and Business Etiquette

Part of doing business is related to business etiquette and cultural differences. What are the local manners? The success of doing business in Bangladesh partly depends on how foreign entrepreneurs are capable of adapting to the Bangladeshi business culture. Although there are no official regulations for this, it can help to pay attention to the following aspects.

An adequate personal contact is very important for maintaining business contacts. To realize and maintain this personal contact, meetings outside the office, lunches/dinners, are highly appreciated.

Hierarchy is important in Bangladeshi society and differences in age and status are observed through language conventions. Individuals with higher status are not addressed by personal name; instead a title or kinship term is used.

Be on time, even if you have to wait for a while.

It is commonly used to shake hands. Men do not shake hands with women, unless the woman takes the initiative. Otherwise it’s acceptable to nod.

Always use the right hand when shaking hands and accepting business cards, as the left hand is considered as unclean. Bring a lot of business cards, as these are commonly exchanged.

Do use titles wherever possible, such as “Professor” or “Doctor”. If your Bangladeshi counterpart does not have a title, use ‘Mr.’, ’Mrs.’, or ‘Miss’.

If you are not certain who is in charge, the best advice is to turn to the eldest person within the company.

Usually, business meetings start off with small talk. Sometimes, in these first meetings, the actual business is not even discussed. It is important to establish a personal relationship before embarking on business related talks.

Agendas are not set and negotiations can take a long time.

Bangladeshi do not like to say ‘no’, instead they use expressions such as ‘maybe’ or ‘that might be difficult’ or ‘we shall try’.
It is not common to bring personal gifts, however, presents given to business acquaintances is appreciated.

In same-sex conversation, touching is common and individuals may stand or sit very close. The closer individuals are in terms of status, the closer their spatial interaction is.

Face and self-esteem is an essential part of Bangladeshi culture, therefore any individual criticism in business situations must be done carefully and with sensitivity.

When invited to a meal, do not start eating until the oldest person at the table begins.

Don’t refuse any food or drink offered to you during business meetings as this may cause offence.
Reyed Mia (Apprentice, DIU)
Asst. Administrative Officer and Apprentice
Daffodil International University
102/1, Shukrabad, Mirpur Road, Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1207.
Cell: +8801671-041005, +8801812-176600
Email: [email protected]