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From high-tech to Bollywood in India


Three equal horizontal bands; saffron represents courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation; white signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility; the blue chakra symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation.

1.2 billion people and an emerging middle class are just two good reasons for franchisors to take a second look at India. In December, a second franchise trade mission visited Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.

Capital: New Delhi

Population: 1.2 billion (July 2014)

Population density: 372 sq km

Median age: 27

Language: Hindi (41%), plus 14 other local languages. However, English is the language of business.

Literacy for adults: 63%

Religion: Hindu, 80.4 %, Muslim, 13.4%

Urbanization: 31% of population

Major cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennal, Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), Hyderabad

Government: Federal republic


Currency: Rupees
Exchange rate: 1 U.S. dollar equals 61.86 Indian rupees

Legal system: Common law based on English model

GDP: $4.99 trillion

Fiscal year: April 1 to March 31

Ease of doing business (World Bank Group stats): 158 out of 189 economies

Ease of construction permits: 184 out of 189

Ease of getting credit: 36 out of 189

Import partners (by rank): China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, U.S. 

Electricity production: 871 billion kWh

Internet country code: .in

Internet users: 15% of population in 2013

Mobile phone users: 900 million (second–largest in world)

Long distance code: +91

Time zone: 10 hours ahead of EST

Formal franchise rule: No

Women in business: Foreign women seem to have little difficulty being accepted in leadership role.

U.S. Commercial Service offices: New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Ahmedabbad, Hyderabad

American Chamber of Commerce of India: Email: amcham@amchamindia.com, Executive Director: Anjay Singha

Business practices: Have the latest wireless and telecom devices; your contacts will want to be able to contact you multiple ways.

Dress: Avoid leather belts, purses and briefcases, as it can be considered offensive.

Sources: World Bank Group, CIA World Factbook, Worldbusinessculture.com, “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands,”  U.S. Commercial Service website, Internet search

The changing cities

New Delhi, the capital of India, didn’t change its  name to rid itself of a “Westernized”or colonial name. Cities that did change names include: Calcutta, now known as Kolkata;  Bombay now Mumbai and Bangalore is Bengaluru, the “Silicone Valley” of India.

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