Doing business

Current business situation

Read our COVID-19 updates for India.

Consult Smartraveller before travelling to India. This is the Australian Government’s free online travel advisory service.

Business culture

English is the main language used in business dealings in India. Managerial, technical and negotiation skills are part of Indian business culture.

Setting up in India

India is a large and diverse market. Each region is different. Australian companies should narrow their focus to key regions depending on the export sector. It’s also important to work with a qualified local partner.

Options for in-market representation include:

  • appointing agents and distributors
  • setting up branch/liaison offices
  • setting up joint ventures and local subsidiaries.

Austrade has 6 offices across India to support Australian organisations and exporters. They are in:

  • Bengaluru
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi.

Establishing a business presence in India

Businesses that want to establish a formal presence in the market should ensure they:

  • seek legal and taxation advice on India’s Department of Revenue before starting business activities in India
  • adopt an appropriate legal and tax structure from the start
  • use a qualified legal and tax firm with a presence in India to review all contracts
  • conduct legal, financial and technical due diligence on any potential partner to minimise risk
  • seek legal advice on protecting intellectual property
  • allow adequate time to finalise partners. Companies in India prefer to establish a strong relationship before committing to a deal.
  • are prepared for tough negotiations and to work through any legal issues. Be firm and polite, but say no if needed
  • are agile and open to developing a digital offering. The digital environment in India is growing. Governments are encouraging businesses to use digital platforms for products and services
  • are prepared to negotiate – especially on pricing – while keeping their unique selling proposition

Banking and finance

India has an extensive banking network, with 3 tiers:

  • scheduled commercial banks
  • regional rural banks that are not covered by the scheduled banks
  • cooperative and special purpose rural banks

The Reserve Bank of India is the central banking institution. It is also the supervisory body for banking operations. It supervises and administers exchange control, banking regulations and the government's monetary policy.

Indian banking financial statements conform to international standards. However, they are sometimes modified to suit the Indian business environment.

Government, business and trade organisations in India

News and media in India

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.