The way a society functions is reflected in its value and belief systems and to understand its people, it becomes necessary to get acquainted with these customs, which enable you to perfectly blend in and make cross-cultural communication easier by providing you with valuable social cues.
While planning to visit a foreign country regardless of the purpose, it is advisable to gain prior knowledge about its culture, traditions, clothing styles, cuisine & dining etiquettes, basic greetings, meanings of gestures, religious preferences and other such aspects of distinguishable significance.
A significant destination for students pursuing higher studies as well as for businessmen, due to the numerous areas of mutual cooperation; Russia is the largest country in the world. It has been a key player in world history, politics, trade, etc. along with these; it also is a military superpower, major exporter of oil and natural gas, leader in the field of science and technology and the Russian Companies in India examples of this fact. All this puts Russian language on the map, which has become one of the top 10 business languages of the world.
Below are some business etiquettes to be kept in mind, while in Russia :-
- Dress code followed is usually formal and is more on the conservative side. Men wear well-tailored suits and ties, whereas women wear suits and skirts covering the knees.
- Handshakes are a common way of greeting your Russian counterparts, while maintaining eye contact.
- It would be an added advantage to have your business cards translated from English to Russian. This would demonstrate your interest to work with the company. Business cards must include your name, designation and relevant degrees.
- Unlike some Asian and European countries, discussing history and politics is quite welcomed in Russia. But it would be a wise choice to give subjects like communism a miss. Awareness about Russian music, literature would make good topics for discussions.
- It goes without saying that punctuality is greatly appreciated.
- Gift-giving is not an uncommon practice in Russia, even within the business culture. Acceptable gifts include exotic fruits, top quality wines, cakes, chocolates, coffee or even something unique from your own country. Avoid gifting things which can be commonly found in Russia.
- Office culture involves a number of breaks which allow the Russians to break away from the monotonous schedules.
- Seating arrangements involve the Russians sitting on one side whereas the visiting businessmen on the other side.
- Avoid scheduling meetings in the first half of January & May months, on account of several national holidays.
Apart from the above mentioned etiquettes, it would create a good first impression if you learn basics of Russian language for the purpose of communication or even socializing for that matter.