WELCOME TO INDIA!
The U.S. Department of Commerce in India, located at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and six other locations in India heartily welcomes you and the company you represent to this very exciting, challenging and demanding market of over a billion people. We hope that this trip will prove to be fruitful for you and your company.
We sincerely hope that the program that we have prepared for you will meet your expectations, foster better dialog/discussions with Indian companies with whom you would be meeting, and lead to win-win partnerships.
Your individual meeting schedule, emergency numbers, and brief profiles of the Indian companies you are slated to meet will be provided to you separately. Included here are brief information on the Indian cities that you would be visiting that you may find useful. Please check our webpage: http://export.gov/india/doingbusinessinindia/index.asp for additional information about our services and doing business in India.
We hope that you enjoy your visit to India. We stand ready to assist and support your visit to this market and look forward to working with you now – and in the future.
We look forward to celebrating your success here!
The Staff of U.S. Commercial Service India
BUSINESS TRAVEL INFORMATION
Ambassador Richard R. Verma
United States Ambassador to India
Richard Verma serves as the 25th United States Ambassador to India. He was nominated by President Obama on September 18th, 2014, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in by Secretary of State John Kerry in December 2014. Ambassador Verma oversees one of the largest U.S. Missions in the world, including four consulates across India and nearly every agency of the U.S. government.
As a former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs in the Obama Administration, he led the State Department’s efforts on Capitol Hill and served as a senior member of Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s team.
Ambassador Verma previously worked in the Senate as the Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. He also worked in the House of Representatives for longtime Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Committee, Jack Murtha. He is veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served on active duty as a Judge Advocate. Rich was also a country director for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Eastern Europe.
The Ambassador has a distinguished career in the private sector, serving as partner at the global law firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and as Senior Counselor to the Albright Stonebridge Group. His practice focused on international law and regulatory issues, with a specialization in Asia and emerging markets. Ambassador Verma was also a Senior National Security Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington DC-based think tank.
In 2008, he was appointed a Commissioner to the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission chaired by Senators Graham and Talent. He is a co-author of their landmark report, "World at Risk." The Ambassador is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and served on the Boards of the Clinton Foundation, the National Democratic Institute, and Human Rights First. He also was a member of the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board from 2011 to 2014.
Ambassador Verma is the recipient of the State Department's Distinguished Service Award, the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and was ranked by India Abroad as one of the 50 most influential Indian Americans. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. Ambassador Verma holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center (LLM), American University's Washington College of Law (JD), and Lehigh University (BS).
John M. McCaslin
John McCaslin is currently serving a 3-year tour as Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs and Senior Commercial Officer in New Delhi, India. Prior to this he served as Senior Commercial Officer in Moscow, Russia, Warsaw, Poland and also as Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Moscow. Before his first assignment to Moscow, he was the Principal Commercial Officer in Munich, Germany from 1997 to 2001. He is one of the few Commercial Officers to have spent considerable time working both in the domestic field and overseas. From 1990 to 1997 he was a Trade Specialist and Director of the Cincinnati Export Assistance Center. During that time he opened a branch office in Columbus, Ohio.
McCaslin joined the Commercial Service in 1990 after serving as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State for five years. He was an Economic Officer in Korea, spending time at the U.S. Consulate in Pusan and the Embassy in Seoul. After Korea he worked in Washington at the Economic and Business Affairs Bureau negotiating bilateral trade agreements in the textile sector and then he served briefly on the staff of the Deputy Secretary of State focusing on Eastern Europe. This was during 1989-90, when these formerly Communist states were beginning their transitions to democracy and free market economies. Soon thereafter he transferred to the Commercial Service.
Prior to becoming a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department, he was a social science instructor at a private, independent day school in Dayton, Ohio from 1981 to 1985.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he obtained a B.A. in Russian Studies and German from Colgate University in upstate New York and an M.A. in International Relations from Columbia University in New York City. He is married to Constance Plattenburg and has three sons.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should monitor the Department’s website at: http://travel.state.gov/ where the current worldwide Public Announcements, and Travel Warnings can be found. All visitors to India can help ensure their safety by familiarizing themselves with the information provided below and by exercising appropriate caution whenever they travel. To obtain updated information, visitors may wish to check the U.S. Embassy’s website at: http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/ or contact the nearest U.S. Consulate General.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. Passport should be reported immediately to local pólice or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local pólice, you are requested to contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance.
U.S. citizens require a passport and visa to enter India for any purpose. Visitors, including those on official U.S. government business, must obtain visas at an Indian Embassy or Consulate abroad prior to entering the country. There are no provisions for visas upon arrival. Those arriving in India without a visa bearing the correct validity dates and numbers of entries are subject to immediate deportation on the return flight. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in India are unable to assist when U.S. citizens arrive without visas. For further information on entry requirements, inquiries should be made at the nearest Indian embassy or consulate.
CONSULAR ACCESS AND CONSULAR LOCATIONS
U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available if they are questioned by local authorities. In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Indian authorities must allow U.S. citizens to contact a U.S. Consular officer if arrested or detained in India. Besides the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, U.S. Consulates are located in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.
In a diverse and complex country like India, it’s difficult to impart generic conclusions that could be used by those wanting to do business here. Regionalism, religion, language and caste are all factors that need to be taken into account when doing business in India. Behavior, etiquette and approach are all modified depending on whom you are addressing and the context in which they are being addressed.
Unlike western societies, in India religion, fatalism and collectivism are all components of daily life and they need to be respected for a healthy and successful business relationship. Despite the traditional caste system being dismantled, remnants may still be witnessed in the Indian hierarchical structure of business practices and decision-making. There is a strong sense of tradition tied into daily business practices. Yet, signs of change are becoming more evident. Ever since the economic reforms began in 1991, India’s market is growing rapidly. With its geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, a major international trade route, and with its rich mineral and agricultural resources, India’s economy is witnessing increased inflows of foreign investments. India is also recognized for its competitive education system and vast pool of highly skilled laborers, making it an attractive market for foreign businesses.
No matter what the industry is, foreign businesses should expect some degree of differences in business norms in India. Below are some basic business etiquettes that the U.S. companies should follow when developing and maintaining relationship with Indian businesses.
If you need to consult a doctor, contact your hotel management or make use of the Embassy/Consulate list of medical practioners. Adequate to excellent medical care is available in the major cities in India, but is usually very limited or unavailable in rural areas.
The currency used in India is the Rupee (Rs.) and paise (1 Rupee=100 paise). The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reference rate for $1= Rs. 53 as on October 1, 2012.
LOCAL TIME, BUSINESS HOURS AND HOLIDAYS
India follows the Indian Standard Time (IST) which is GMT+5 and half hours. India follows a single time zone throughout the country. Business hours are usually from 0930 hours to 1730 hours with a hours lunch break from 1300 to 1400 hours. The work week is Monday to Friday but some offices work half a day on Saturdays. Central Government offices are closed on Saturdays.
Helpful Link: http://www.worldtimezone.com/
TELEPHONE DIALING INSTRUCTIONS
FROM LAND LINE TO LAND LINE:
To USA dial: 00 + 1 + area code + phone number
From USA to India dial: 91+city code+phone number
From India to other countries dial: 00 + country code + area code + telephone number
FROM LAND LINE TO CELL PHONES:
To USA dial: 00 + 1 + cell phone number
From USA dial: 91 + cell phone number
FROM CELL PHONE TO LAND LINE:
To USA dial: 00 +1 +area code + phone number
In India dial: city code + phone number
FROM CELL PHONE TO CELL PHONE:
To USA dial: 00 + 1 + cell phone number
Within the city in India: dial cell phone number
To a different city dial: +91 + cell number