Sunday, March 08, 2015

Bhagavad - Gītā – 18:65



man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te
pratijāne priyo 'si me

SYNONYM

mat-manāḥ - thinking of Me;  bhava - just become;  mat-bhaktaḥ - My devotee; mat-yājī - My worshiper; mām - unto Me; namaskuru - offer your obeisances; mām - unto Me; eva - certainly; eṣyasi - you will come; satyam - truly; te - to you; pratijāne - I promise; priyaḥ - dear; asi - you are; me - to Me.

TRANSLATION

Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

PURPORT

The most confidential part of knowledge is that one should become a pure devotee of Krishna and always think of Him and act for Him.

One should not become an official meditator. Life should be so molded that one will always have the chance to think of Kṛishṇa.

One should always act in such a way that all his daily activities are in connection with Kṛishṇa.

He should arrange his life in such a way that throughout the twenty-four hours he cannot but think of Kṛishṇa.

And the Lord's promise is that anyone who is in such pure Kṛiṣhṇa consciousness will certainly return to the abode of Kṛishṇa, where he will be engaged in the association of Kṛishṇa face to face.

This most confidential part of knowledge is spoken to Arjuna because he is the dear friend of Kṛiṣhṇa. Everyone who follows the path of Arjuna can become a dear friend to Kṛiṣhṇa and obtain the same perfection as Arjuna.

These words stress that one should concentrate his mind upon Kṛiṣhṇa — the very form with two hands carrying a flute, the bluish boy with a beautiful face and peacock feathers in His hair.

There are descriptions of Kṛiṣhṇa found in the Brahma-saḿhitā and other literatures. One should fix his mind on this original form of Godhead, Kṛiṣhṇa.

One should not even divert his attention to other forms of the Lord. The Lord has multi-forms as Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa, Rāma, Varāha, etc., but a devotee should concentrate his mind on the form that was present before Arjuna.

Concentration of the mind on the form of Kṛiṣhṇa constitutes the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is disclosed to Arjuna because Arjuna is the most dear friend of Kṛiṣhṇa, the Lord.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Properties for immediate sale in India

Properties for immediate sale at the following locations in India
1.
Hosur (Karnataka)
9600 sq. ft. of land with teak wood etc.
Total price: Indian Rs 1,920,000.00 (negotiable).

2.
Vaigai, on the foothills of Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu)
7200 sq. ft. of land with teak wood etc.
Total price: Indian Rs 1,440,000.00 (negotiable).

Picture taken in 1998

3.

Property in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)
14000 sq. ft. of land with teak wood, coconut trees etc. 
Total price: Indian Rs 2,800,000.00 (negotiable).

Monday, December 29, 2014

15 Most Amazing Predictions for Kali Yuga

15 Most Amazing Predictions for Kali Yuga from the Bhagavata Purana


The following 15 predictions about the present Kali Yuga, written 5,000 years ago by sage Vedavyasa, are amazing because they appear so accurate. Prophecies of Kali Yuga.

In the last canto of the Bhagavata Purana there is a list of predictions and prophecies about the dark times for the present age of Kali Yuga. The following 15 predictions, written 5,000 years ago by sage Vedavyasa, are amazing because they appear so accurate. Despite the negative tone of these prophecies, there is still one bright spot for all of us, which is mentioned at the end.

Prediction 1:

Religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, duration of life, physical strength and memory will all diminish day by day because of the powerful influence of the age of Kali.

Prediction 2:

In Kali Yuga, wealth alone will be considered the sign of a man's good birth, proper behaviour and fine qualities. And law and justice will be applied only on the basis of one's power.

Prediction 3:

Men and women will live together merely because of superficial attraction, and success in business will depend on deceit. Womanliness and manliness will be judged according to one's expertise in sex, and a man will be known as a brahmana just by his wearing a thread.

Prediction 4:

A person's spiritual position will be ascertained merely according to external symbols, and on that same basis people will change from one spiritual order to the next. A person's propriety will be seriously questioned if he dos not earn a good living. And one who is very clever at juggling words will be considered a learned scholar.

Prediction 5:

A person will be judged unholy if he does not have money, and hypocrisy will be accepted as virtue. Marriage will be arranged simply by verbal agreement, and a person will think he is fit to appear in public if he has merely taken a bath.

Prediction 6:

A sacred place will be taken to consist of no more than a reservoir of water located at a distance, and beauty will be thought to depend on one's hairstyle. Filling the belly will become the goal of life, and one who is audacious will be accepted as truthful. He who can maintain a family will be regarded as an expert man, and the principles of religion will be observed only for the sake of reputation.

Prediction 7:

As the earth thus becomes crowded with a corrupt population, whoever among any of their social classes shows himself to be the strongest will gain political power.

Prediction 8:

Harassed by famine and excessive taxes, people will resort to eating leaves, roots, flesh, wild honey, fruits, flowers and seeds. Struck by drought, they will become completely ruined.

Prediction 9:

The citizens will suffer greatly from cold, wind, heat, rain and snow. They will be further tormented by quarrels, hunger, thirst, disease and severe anxiety.

Prediction 10:

The maximum duration of life for human beings in Kali Yuga will become 50 years.

Men will no longer protect their elderly parents.

Prediction 12:

In Kali-yuga men will develop hatred for each other even over a few coins. Giving up all friendly relations, they will be ready to lose their own lives and kill even their own relatives.

Prediction 13:

Uncultured men will accept charity on behalf of the Lord and will earn their livelihood by making a show of austerity and wearing a mendicant's dress. Those who know nothing about religion will mount a high seat and presume to speak on religious principles.

Prediction 14:

Servants will abandon a master who has lost his wealth, even if that master is a saintly person of exemplary character. Masters will abandon an incapacitated servant, even if that servant has been in the family for generations. Cows will be abandoned or killed when they stop giving milk.

Prediction 15:

Cities will be dominated by thieves, the Vedas will be contaminated by speculative interpretations of atheists, political leaders will virtually consume the citizens, and the so-called priests and intellectuals will be devotees of their bellies and genitals.

Despite all of these dark prophecies, there is one good quality in this age of Kali yuga:  Although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: simply by chanting the names of Krishna, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom."

So let us take advantage of this special spiritual gift given during the dark times of Kali yuga to quickly raise ourselves spiritually through chanting of God's holy names.



Thursday, December 25, 2014

Jingle Bells : Lyrics

Jingle Bells : Lyrics

Play Music !

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh yeah

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh



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Everyone is Replaceable, and Other Business Lies

"Everyone is Replaceable" and Other Business Lies

Dec 9, 2014 - By Liz Ryan - CEO and Founder, Human Workplace

"Everyone is replaceable" is a lie, thankfully. If we were truly hiring people who could be replaced at any moment, we'd be doing a terrible disservice to our customers and shareholders. Yet we hear the expression all the time: "Everyone is replaceable." Really?

What an awful thing to say, or to believe!

Some people believe that the best part of the Industrial Revolution was the idea to mechanize work -- to chop up a process into such small parts that a trained rhesus monkey could be trained to do any one of the parts in no time. In fact, that process of dumping down the work that our employees perform is the worst idea the business world has ever had.

When work is boring and trivial, who cares about doing it well? I've done boring and pointless jobs, and you probably have, too. It's a complete waste of human ingenuity.

If we aren't hiring people to do complicated things and use their brains every day at work, then we should automate our processes and be done with it.

Plenty of procedures formerly performed by people have been automated already.

Only fearful managers say "Everyone is replaceable." Fearful managers say other hateful things, too, things like "I don't pay you to think" and "That's my decision, not yours." Those fearful statements make it easy to tell which managers are deserving of your talents and which aren't.

"Everyone is replaceable" is one of my favorite Business Lies. If it's true in a given organization, then the place is headed for bankruptcy. If we aren't allowing people to bend and stretch their job descriptions, to have great ideas and push those ideas throughout our organizations, then we're idiots and don't deserve to be in leadership roles.

If we truly believe that anyone can be replaced in a heartbeat, why would anyone with a good brain want to work for us?

If you own stock in the company where the managers say "Everyone is replaceable," get rid of that stock now!  Better yet, go to a shareholder's meeting and start a campaign to oust the current CEO and bring in someone who understands how to lead people, and how to motivate a team.

Another Business Lie is "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." That's completely false!

You can manage all kinds of things that you can't measure, like the goodwill of your customers and the good energy on your team. Not only can you manage them, you must. In business, managing the intangibles is much more important than managing columns and rows.

We are addicted to managing numbers. We think numbers are the language of business - yet another lie!

Fearful managers obsess about metrics, merely because metrics are tangible. We can point to them. Look how many companies showed great numbers on all their spreadsheets right up until the minute they didn't, and then they failed. Those poor foolish managers gave all their attention to particles and failed to notice the waves swelling and crashing around them.

Any human endeavor takes place in an energy field. We have to pay attention to that energy, cultivate the good momentum and quickly identify and deal with bad energy when it creeps in. In other words, we have to manage the waves.

That doesn't mean putting people on probation or firing them. It means being human, telling the truth about our own faults and worries as managers and allowing our teammates to be fallible humans, too.

In our work at Human Workplace, the energy blockers we see most often have to do with fear and trust. Energy gets dammed up in an organization and people get frustrated when there's a big problem that no one is talking about. It's the elephant in the room.

The elephant could be anything. It might be slipping market share or the fact that no one believes the upcoming product release is really what customers need.

No one wants to name the elephant, but the energy field reflects the energy blockage nonetheless. Eventually something erupts and everyone looks around for someone to blame.

We don't have to run our organizations that way. We can talk about fear and trust every day, because fear and trust are business topics as surely as product returns and markdowns are.

We can talk about feeling anxious and not being sure what to do next. It takes a real leader to be that honest with his or her team. People will follow a truth-telling leader to the ends of the earth. Can you be that strong as a leader?

Another Business Lie we hear all the time is "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It." Most of us in the West grew up with the break/fix mentality. We leave things alone until they go haywire. We only do this in business, not in other important areas of our lives!

When we plant a garden, we don't say "There are weeds among the vegetables, but I haven't been told to pull them out, so I won't" and wait to react until the weeds have choked the vegetables to death.

We constantly check on our children to make sure they're healthy and happy. We don't view our own health or our family's health as something to ignore until there's a crisis. In business, we tend to downplay the constant stream of little signals we receive from the universe, courtesy of our five (or six) senses.

People in a business know when something needs attention that it isn't getting, whether it's the sales order processing system or a talent-repelling recruiting apparatus. They know about it, but fear of saying the wrong thing or offending a higher-up keeps them silent.

We don't talk about things that need attention, because someone has told us "It's not your job to worry about that." Everyone gets hurt when the system finally collapses under the weight of its problems.

We can make every workplace a Human Workplace and ask every one of our workmates every day "What's up? What's new?"

We can listen to what they tell us. We don't have to rely on Employee Engagement Surveys and formal systems to tell us what's happening right under our noses. We don't have to repeat the Business Lies "Everyone is replaceable," "Numbers are the language of business" and "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." None of these things are true.

Godzilla, the scaly reptilian edifice of nineteenth-century business rules and thinking, is falling apart - and not a moment too soon! We can hasten his demise and usher in the Human Workplace together.

We can replace fear with trust and bring ourselves to work completely, the same way we bring ourselves to the gym and the car wash and the preschool holiday pageant. It's not hard to do. We just have to listen to our bodies and tell the truth to make it happen.

Today is the perfect day to start!




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Hire a CEO You Wont Want to Fire

How to Hire a CEO You Wont Want to Fire

By Reshmi Paul and Dionne Hosten

A lot of CEOs are being shown the door lately. In the apparel industry alone, we’ve just seen the end of American Apparel’s Dov Charney and the ouster of Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson – plus the installation of interim CEOs at Target and JC Penney following their previous leaders’ firings. These companies are in trouble, and their boards must select new CEOs under highly charged circumstances.

At least some of them are bound to make the mistake we’ve seen so many times: pushing ahead with a sense of urgency around their new CEO selection, and allowing their deliberations to be overtaken by strong wills and unexamined emotions.

Here’s what they should do instead. First: take the time to arrive collectively at a short list, not of candidates but, first, of criteria. An open and rigorous debate over CEO criteria is the most important step a board can take with succession.

Then: commit to a process by which the potential leaders they consider will be honestly, consistently assessed against those criteria and a winner will emerge.

Why is the early narrowing of criteria so important? From the outset, it reinforces the reality that no CEO candidate is perfect. All of the available options will have noticeable strengths and weaknesses. The board’s challenge is to decide what deficits it can live with (usually because they can be compensated for by the rest of the leadership team), and which two or three criteria are non-negotiable must-haves.

The alternative, and unfortunately the usual route, is to compile a laundry list of laudable qualities. While none of them is easy to argue against, collectively they have no power, because the list doesn’t allow the best candidates to emerge
.
Worse, a list that calls for everything gives every director something to point to as they lobby for their own favorite. Someone prevails and others, eager to wrap up this sensitive and time-consuming process, capitulate. From the outside the process might look like solid work, following best practice. But the board has essentially abdicated its most important responsibility.

Consider the case of a specialty retailer whose CEO was retiring after a long, successful run. The retiring leader advocated strongly for an executive he had groomed for the job, in his own image. But the board recognized that the company’s environment was changing dramatically, thanks to global expansion, greater online competition, and customers’ evolving expectations of their shopping experience. Diligently, the board drew up all the criteria it felt it should consider.

Clearly it was time for a CEO who could handle omni-channel complexity, but on the board’s wish list, that was just one item among many. Among the others was merchandising experience, which the heir apparent, like his mentor, had in spades.
Reluctant to oppose a leader who had dramatically increased shareholder value, the board folded under pressure and ratified the CEO’s pick. The result was disastrous, as the company suffered numerous missteps in rolling out new channel strategies and overhauling back-end systems.

When a board never engages in open debate over which attributes matter most, not only does it fail to connect succession to what the company most needs; it neglects to give the incoming CEO guidance about where to focus his or her own efforts and in what areas it might be best to delegate.

Boards, and companies’ governance processes, are idiosyncratic; exactly how to focus on what’s really needed in the next CEO will depend on the firm. But, at a high level, it is a three-part process:  Start with an exploration of likely scenarios for the company in the next several years. Get input from executives, high-potentials, and outside stakeholders on how those conditions will most challenge and create opportunities for the company. Then develop a profile limited to a few must-haves. This process is usually enhanced with the departing CEO’s involvement, as long as the board shows leadership.

Greater focus brings better results. A global energy company was struggling and seemed unlikely to survive the industry’s looming consolidation. With its CEO preparing to retire with a mixed legacy, the board at first generated a list of fifteen things at which the new leader should excel, ranging from expanding into new markets, to driving a Six Sigma-based culture of operational excellence, to getting a major facility project back on track. Rather than work from this list, however, the urgency of the company’s situation drove the board and CEO to debate which goals were most important. They narrowed the list to three: defining a visionary strategy to survive consolidation, driving a culture of accountability so the company could deliver on promises to investors, and developing a strong bench of executive talent. They consciously left out operational goals, because most directors agreed the CEO could rely on the existing business unit heads, and a capable COO could also be hired from outside.

That effectively ruled out the heir apparent, despite the fact that some directors had felt he was “owed” the job. While his strengths were significant, it was undeniable that the three key areas of need were weaknesses for him. The board hired an external candidate, who over the next few years made some transformational acquisitions, kept the company independent, and greatly boosted the stock price.


Beware the “Smooth” CEO Succession

Beware the “Smooth” CEO Succession

By Reshmi Paul

JUNE 5, 2014

CEO succession is an inherently bumpy process. Even when the outgoing leader has performed well and seems ready to retire, the transfer of power is fraught with sensitivities. It’s hard for anyone who thrives in the all-consuming job of a CEO to hand over the reins.

So it’s no surprise that many boards work hard to make succession as painless as possible. They adopt processes that have them anticipating the change far in advance, treat the retiring CEO with full respect, and make him or her feel comfortable throughout.

This emphasis on having the transition go as smoothly as possible is a mistake.  Consider the trouble it caused for one global company. When its long-tenured and highly successful CEO was nearing retirement, the company’s board readily agreed to his designated successor. But while this candidate had risen up the ranks and performed superbly at every level, he had a serious weakness in his lack of experience dealing with the board and other key external stakeholders.

Some directors saw this as a worrisome risk, but kept quiet given the current CEO’s confidence and their own hesitation to ruffle feathers. Further assuaging their concerns was the outgoing CEO’s request to stay on as chairman, an arrangement to which they readily acceded.

Instead of focusing on addressing the weakness, however, the chairman continued to have a blind spot about it. Making matters worse, he never encouraged his protégé to develop independent relationships with the other directors. As a result, the new leader launched into his CEO role never having gained an understanding of key stakeholders’ perspectives or a way of staying abreast of them. Less than two years after he took over, progress had slowed so much that the board had to go through the highly disruptive process of removing both him and his mentor.
  
It’s only natural for board members to respect the view of the successful sitting CEO who has the most intimate knowledge of the company, its leaders, and the environment. After all, many of the board members are current or former CEOs themselves and can’t help but identify with the CEO’s perspective. They easily fall into agreement with the leader’s strongly held perspective on the future, and they slip into assuming his or her continuing involvement in the company after a transition.

But even today’s best-performing companies need a hard, fresh look at their prospects for tomorrow. With a successful leader in place, the board inevitably focuses on the glorious past, not the uncertain future. The current strategy, as well as the currently available talent, becomes the default option.

There is a way for directors to ask the tough questions without undermining the sitting CEO or the company. But that means giving up on smooth succession as the overriding goal. It’s time for boards to accept and prepare for the bumps and bruises that come with successions geared to serve the company’s long-term interests — rather than the current CEO’s comfort.

Ideally the work starts as soon as a new CEO arrives. The board emphasizes their interest in ongoing succession planning. While the CEO should own the process for most of his or her tenure – focused on developing a strong bench and informing the board of progress – the board should gradually take on ownership of the process as the timing of the transition nears, usually a couple of years or more before the CEO’s likely retirement. The board has to be ready and willing to dive into potentially challenging conversations with the outgoing CEO about future strategy, the timing of the transition, internal and external candidates, and his or her role in the transition and the future board.

This expectation-setting is key, so the CEO doesn’t see the uptick in board involvement as a sign of disapproval. But the board needs to back up its intentions by doing its own homework. After all, a big reason CEOs tend to dominate the succession process is that they doubt the board’s ability to make a good decision.

An engaged board can manage succession even with a less-than-cooperative CEO. The founder of an industrial company had performed admirably in building his operation into a major industry player. But the board saw that different talents were needed to reach the next level. Three long-time directors that the CEO trusted went to him and strongly encouraged him to set a retirement date. They also insisted on an objective comparison of his favored candidate with other possibilities. When the leader of a growing business unit emerged as better equipped for the company’s future needs, the board went a step further and assessed that leader against some external talent before ratifying the choice.

As the transition date neared, the board reluctantly allowed the outgoing CEO to stay as non-executive chairman. But they rejected a variety of requested retirement perks, such as access to the corporate jet. To top it all off, they closely watched how he interacted with the new CEO. After seeing behaviors that undermined the new leader, they had the chairman removed after only a year. While not all of this was smooth, the board had done the hard work of vetting the succession and supporting the new CEO. And the company continued to thrive.

Corporate directors are facing growing regulatory and investor pressures to exert more oversight over succession planning. It’s only natural for them to relax when their companies are thriving. But that’s no excuse for quick agreement to even the best leader’s plans for succession.

The truly great CEOs recognize their limits. They have the humility to expect their boards to challenge them usefully in their thinking on future strategy and succession – and to keep their boards informed enough to do so. Great boards in turn know that their best contribution to the long-term health of their companies is to keep challenging their CEOs in these areas. This can make for a sometimes bumpy road to succession, but a better outcome for the company and its shareholders.

How U.S. Businesses Can Succeed in India in 2015

How U.S. Businesses Can Succeed in India in 2015

By Vijay Govindarajan and Gunjan Bagla

DECEMBER 22, 2014

On January 26, 2015, President Obama will become the first sitting U.S. President to visit India twice. Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington last September, the U.S.-India Business Council found that its large company members were prepared to invest $40 billion into India by 2017. This at a time when Brazil’s economy is stuttering, Vladimir Putin’s expansionism has made Russia a pariah, and the rich world is looking for someone other than China to love. In the hyperbole of online media, one headline reads, India is the last BRIC Standing.

The U.S.-India love first peaked in July 2008 when India’s government of the time risked its very survival in support of a nuclear energy deal led by Washington. But both trade and political alignment lumbered slowly forward until the current quarter and many American executives had become flustered with their India initiatives.

Until now.

Today there appears to a second gold rush to India. Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Douglas Leone of Sequoia Capital, told the Economic Times of India in October, “We could not be more thrilled. We don’t have 25-30 category leaders in the United States; we don’t have [as many] in China right now, but we have it in India.” In the same month SoftBank of Japan committed to investing $10 billion into India over the next several years and CEO Masayoshi Son proved his seriousness by pouring the first billion into an Indian e-commerce company (Snapdeal) and a car-sharing service (Olacabs).

It’s not just frothy internet startups that are doing well in India today. Boeing India’s Dennis Swanson told Business Week that he expects to sign a new strategic partnership with an Indian company in 2015. Boeing is America’s largest exporter and the only American defense contractor to have crossed $2 billion in sales to India. America’s largest insurer, Allstate, announced plans to invest $1 billion in its India operations. Domino’s Pizza declared that they sell more pies in India than any other country other than the United States.

Federal and state government officials have also lined up to promote their respective causes in New Delhi, from Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Hundreds of lesser known companies, organizations and officials have joined the scramble. And we expect that President Obama’s visit will spark a further acceleration of business interest in India.

While some companies will do very well in India, we expect many others to be disappointed. But it won’t be “India’s fault,” in our view. In June 2013, Dallas-based Mary Kay exited from India after six years and over $20 million invested. At the same time Amway and L’Oreal thrived in the same market and personal care sales boomed across most of India. Earlier, GE found that it could not make a go in the appliance business in India.
  
Abbott Laboratories of Illinois acquired Piramal Healthcare Ltd.’s branded generic-medicine unit in India for $3.7 billion in 2010, predicting it would grow at 20% a year for a decade. Two years later sales were stagnant in dollar terms.

We believe that American companies have a huge upside in India over the next several years. But they need to be alert to the following four signposts.

Choose the right India country manager: The role of country manager for India can mean many things depending on the scope of operations and the structure of an organization. First of all, headquarters needs to be clear about their vision of their role in India over the next 2-5 years and recruit to match that vision.

Sometimes, we see companies enter India with an executive who is the rough equivalent of a regional sales manager in the United States when their visions of India are much grander; he or she is typically not empowered to seize transformational opportunities in India while at the same time, his or her voice is not heard loudly enough at global headquarters. We’ve also seen the reverse, where a retained search firm convinces an American company with very modest goals for India to hire a leader used to running a thousand-person organization. In India’s class-conscious culture, such a person might struggle at having to personally perform tasks that they routinely delegated two or three layers down. They will definitely find themselves under-challenged. When they quit, the American company’s brand and reputation takes a hit in India.

We cringe at hiring processes that emphasize the ability to “communicate effectively with headquarters” over the skill of dealing with Indian companies and government officials. Of course it would be ideal to hire a manager who is equally adept in Peoria and Pune, but there is a paucity of such talent in a growing emerging market. While India is complex, it is an open society and an expatriate sent to India can learn to be effective in India, provided they have an open mind, a sense of humility, and the tenacity to manage the Indian operation for four years or more. David Mulford, U.S. Ambassador to India from 2004 to 2009, was more successful in part because his long tenure enabled him to gain trust, respect and apply his learning effectively. Many other recent ambassadors have returned to Washington in two years or less.

Prepare to adapt: Muhtar Kent, the Turkish-American CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, lived in India as a boy and now oversees a business where India is a top 10 market in terms of volume, and where his company is investing another $5 billion. “… In India, appearances can be deceiving,” he wrote earlier this year in an essay in Re-Imagining India. “For outsiders there is always a hint of mystery. Even if you live and work there, you can never be entirely sure you understand. It is best to assume that you do not. If you come to India with some grand, pre-determined strategy or master plan, prepare to be distracted, deterred, even demoralized.”

While flexibility is important in any new market, India stretches the assumptions and belief systems of many seasoned international business people. If you and your company are not prepared to be humble and open about dealing with India, it may be best to stay home. We don’t mean to suggest that you compromise your integrity or core values or that you tolerate any corruption, but be ready to do things in India that you may not need to do in other markets. Kent goes on to say that the key to their success in India “has been learning to see the Indian market as it is, not as we wished it to be.”

In our conversations, we hear this yearning to see the Indian markets as American executives “wish it to be” from the trivial to the substantial:

• “Why can’t Indian Standard Time be nine or 10 hours ahead of EST? What is this business about nine and a half hours?”

• “What is a crore of rupees? Why can’t they count in millions and billions like everyone else?”

• “Why are there so many levels of duties, taxes and “cesses” in India?”

• “Reserve Bank permission? I never have to deal with the U.S. Federal Reserve, what is this all about?”

• “I have one distributor for all of Australia. Why do I need five in India?”

Take India as it is and you can learn to thrive. Complaining about why it is different will gain neither friends nor sales.

Value, not price: The common wisdom is that India’s buyers seek the lowest possible price and are prepared to compromise on quality. And rarely is an American product or service the low-price leader in India’s market. Add up Indian taxes and channel costs and the price of American products looks worse compared to a local player.

The reality is that usage assumptions of many imported products are not attuned to the Indian market. For example, interest rates are higher in India than the USA and credit is not easy to come by. So cash flow is king in most Indian businesses and if you can document how your product or service can improve your Indian customer’s cash flow, a high ticket price becomes much less of a factor. In the United States, a machine may be used six hours a day for five days a week. An Indian executive may want to buy the same machine and run it 16 hours a day for six or seven days a week. Low-cost Indian repair and maintenance crews can tune up the equipment at night.

American equipment is often sold bundled with a host of features, accessories and services that may have no relevance to the market in India. Many times, the product can be un-bundled thoughtfully and the final configuration offered in India may not be lower cost but can preserve or even improve gross margins.

Don’t ignore governments as a customer: Other than in the defense sector, American companies have generally hesitated to engage with India’s government, fearing corruption, long sales cycles and the pressure of a low-bid tender process. Today, however, there is opportunity in government sales.

India has 29 state governments in addition to the union (central or federal) government. Some of the states and their cities have more nimble and forward-thinking officials who are committed to modernization and rapid growth and they should no longer be ignored by new entrants.

These sales are decided in state capitals across the country and most American companies should choose no more than four states as initial targets. Buoyed by economic growth, New Delhi also has a lot of money to invest in infrastructure, in medical services, in technology and more. By March 2015, the Modi government will announce its new budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 and this will affect many policies and procedure followed by the central government. This will be a good time to re-assess whether India’s federal government will be a more promising market for foreign companies.

With Obama’s upcoming visit, we expect the conditions for U.S.-India activity to continue to be favorable. If you’re not rethinking your India goals, now is a good time to do so.

About the authors……

Vijay Govindarajan is the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is coauthor of Reverse Innovation (HBR Press, April 2012).

Gunjan Bagla is Managing Director of Amritt Inc, a California consultancy that advises American companies on doing business in India and the author of Doing Business in 21st Century India (Hachette, 2008).