boutique dans un bazar

6 tips to help you deal in India

Join me in my quest and adventures with my new blog. I have have been living and traveling on and off since over two years in Asia, learning all about the scarf business and trade. Here are a few tips I learned along the way,

useful for the tourist shopping for souvenirs as well for the business oriented deals.   

Edited on May 22nd 2016: This was my very first post, with some quick tips. Those are still valid, but for a better in-depth analysis read my latest post on our personal experience managing a scarf shop in India


 Always doubt, but never argue

Shopkeepers, especially those catering to foreigners, will lie or not say the truth. They lie about their products, where they come from what they are made, their history. And not saying the truth by answering anything instead of admitting they dont know. My advice; just listen, no point to argue if you know the truth. Like the ever ongoing battle between the Kashmir and Nepalese pashmina.


Doubt more

A new business will launch by mimicking its neighbors marketing tools and appearance. Results are never positive, especially when they copy the business card content with all the mistakes, the poorly done sings (and the mistakes and typos; this is how restaurant suddenly becomes “resto-runt” all over the place in one area of a town). And in the end you are never quite sure if you found the right contact or shop you where looking for.


Shop in Amritsar


Doubt again, and listen carefully

All shopkeepers claim to be also wholesalers. They all want to do business with foreigners. Getting to the source can be difficult and quite a challenge. Every shop owner and wholesaler has a family factory. This factory is usually belonging to one distant uncle. This one i stopped believing a long time ago. I just nod and say of course. No point to argue here. Because no matter what, they are all related and have a different view on what "family" is than us. And it is true in a few case, as is one of my main providers.


Be aware

Backstabbing is common practice and nothing can be done; This is the saddest part. Solidarity and loyality among employees is mostly non existant and to some extant in family based business also. Everybody looks after their own interest and succes.


Show confidence

Play their game and pretend that you are an important person or very rich. Just subtley hide the truth, if you can't lie or don't want to. Just be confident, without arrogance You will enjoy the end result; more respect and better integration.

 me, in scarf shop


Nothing like what it probably is the West. This is the upside of the laxity of way of doing business in the East. The end result makes it fun and relax, as long as you know your product and display a high level of confidence. As the business “westerner” shopping around, you get a different level of respect than the simple white tourist shopping for souvenirs. 


The secret of doing business successfully in India

Simile, be patient and doubt silently. Never argue.

And smile more.








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