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March 30, 2012

Culture - The jigsaw puzzle

This is the second article in the series of articles on Culture and its effects on global marketing of products.

Maruti range of cars in the USA: When the Indian car manufacturers sell their cars in the USA they have to make a quick fundamental change in the design of the car. The steering wheel of the car has to be changed from the right side of the car to the left. This is because people drive on the left hand side of the road in India and on the right hand side in the USA. First time visitors in USA face a horrendous task in crossing the road – They inevitably look at the wrong side while the traffic is coming from the other direction or from their blind side.

Electric switches in Russia: Even more puzzling is the position of the Off and On position of electric switches in Russia. What is Off condition in many countries is the On position for the switch and vice versa. India pilots sent to Russia for training in the MIG series of fighter aircrafts spend considerable time in practicing the Off and On position lest they leave the plane in the On condition when they leave it on the tarmac.

Mehendi in the USA: Young people now a day are into body piercing and tattooing. The most favorite in thing in tattooing is to get the name of the mate tattooed. But the problem is that the mate would change but the tattoo is permanent. It is very difficult to explain the name and the bondage of the ex beau with the current one.

Mehendi (an Indian form of tattooing) could provide a wonderful solution. Get the name of the mate done in Mehendi instead of a permanent tattoo. The Mehendi would be seen for a period of ten days. If the mate is still around the same name can be put again in Mehendi or if the mate is changed a new name can be done. Thus Indian Mehendi can be marketed as temporary tattoo.

Sarees and Dhotis: sarees and Dhotis the mysterious Indian dress worn by women and men is slowly becoming popular in the western countries. But the problem with saree and the dhotis is that they are single pieces of unstitched cloths. They have to be draped and draping is a skill that very few can master. A solution to that problem has been provided. Now days it is possible to get zipper sarees and dhotis. One can appear to be in ethnic dress but at the same time be very comfortable. Madonna is big fan of Indian sarees and has a huge collection - albeit the zipper version.

The Pajamas that Indian men wear along with the kurthas also has undergone a change. Now the pajamas come with a zipper. So it is easier to relieve oneself in a restroom. Earlier the man had to almost undress to relieve himself. 

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