I wish that some of my German business friends and I had at our disposal Rupa Bose’s “India Business Checklists” (2009, John Wiley & Sons) during our years of trying to set up projects in India in the late 80’s and early 90's! In all of my over 30 years of doing business in the ‘old’, pre-1990s India and the ‘new’ post-1990s India I’ve never had the good fortune of having a compact yet comprehensive gem of a guide of the kind Rupa Bose has so admirably put together. It is indeed worth your while to have two sets of Rupa’s “Checklists” – one in your briefcase as a ready reckoner and the other by your hotel bedside for a deeper understanding of the Indian business paradigms. It not only reads well, in an easy and elegant prose, it also informs with professional clarity and in depth. Rupa’s hands-on knowledge of the corporate and bureaucratic India is truly stupendous. A great deal of thought and planning has gone into Rupa’s “Checklists”. The book is neatly divided into four major chapters and sub-sections which deal with such diverse but critically relevant issues: the historical and political contexts, the elaborate and thorough preparation which is vital before one embarks on an India project, the entry strategy and learning to adjust and manage your affairs in India. This book walks you through the Indian bureaucratic quagmire and provides you with invaluable advice on matters such the legal system, procedural formalities, taxation and financial implications, and the logistical issues of living and working in India. Along the way, particular emphasis is placed on the essential do’s and don’ts of Indian etiquette and other sensibilities.I liked the case studies which Rupa Bose has chronicled in the form of snapshots, succinctly illustrating real-life business models. I also particularly liked the piece of advice that due diligence issues are fundamental to the process of understanding the Indian business scenario: the accent on setting up the liaison office, the need to “beauty parade” experienced professionals before you appoint them, and to be sure that you are comfortable with your top managers, advisers, and the expertise they provide.Overall, this is a commendable effort. Congratulations to John Wiley & Sons for commissioning Rupa Bose to write this essential guide. If the German version of this book is made available, it will definitely find wide acceptance.
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