Know Crucial Cultural Tips of Indonesia To Survive in Business
Foreign investors who want to start doing business in Indonesia should start on the right foot. Sometimes, it pays to practice and to master certain cultural tips before you talk business with local business leaders. Business in Indonesia is really about developing close personal ties with the locals first. That way, you start on a platform of trust in each other.
Learn Cultural Tips Through Conversational Etiquette
Foreign investors will really be under a magnifying glass when attempting to understand the local culture. Cultural tips start with learning conversational etiquette first. For example, you should always be aware of family and organizational hierarchies, especially with Indonesian family businesses. If the family invites you to dinner, that’s a positive sign, meaning the family leaders may have an interest in you. Be sure to greet the family elders first and always bring a valuable gift as a sign of goodwill.
If the family elders accept you, be conscious then of which family member you will be working with. Generally, the family elders may turn over power and authority over the business to the eldest son. Even if a less powerful son or daughter assumes leadership of the family-owned company, the eldest son dominates. But for critical decisions, the family elders have the final say. They can overrule the opinions of even the oldest son, when necessary.
Cultural Tips Are Up to Interpretation
Another aspect of cultural tips is that sometimes Indonesians say one thing but may mean something else. So, if you bring up business and the Indonesian answers “yes” to it, discreetly seek assurance that it’s a go. This leaves many foreign businesspeople frustrated and confused because they thought both parties agreed already. Sometimes, what is needed is for both parties to converse more about the deal so that there’s no miscommunication.
Seek Local Partners Who Can Supply Crucial Cultural Tips
Since business culture in Indonesia can be confusing, you need to find an Indonesian partner well-versed in cultural tips. One cultural norm you need help with is the emphasis on working with well-connected and knowledgeable partners. This is a sensitive issue that may surprise foreigners who are used to doing business independently.
Another tip your local partner may coach you on is the tendency of locals to brag about whom they know. Don’t be surprised if everyone you do business with will do this often. This is just their way of showing that business is a social success, meaning being successful in business equals being popular.
It’s natural for the head of the company in Indonesia to propose to foreign investors about how they will profit. But this means being willing to absorb the local culture before you get to start talking about business. If you any confusion, be patient and do not force the issue. Rather, wait until you and your local guide are alone so you can discuss the situation objectively. Remember, these are the people you will be interacting with for the duration of the business in Indonesia.
If you should need business setup assistance, we at 3E Accounting can help. We offer Indonesia business setup services to business people who want to get a toehold in the Indonesian market. Should you need business services in areas such as accounting, auditing and taxation, among many others, don’t hesitate to contact us right away.