WHEN consultants at Bain & Company are transferred to the Delhi office, they don’t pack just their BlackBerrys and toothbrushes. Each one also receives a copy of a manual written by consultants who are, or have been, posted there. It spells out in precise consultant-speak suggestions for nightclubs, gyms and Hindi teachers. But it goes beyond that, by discussing meeting protocols, dress codes and telephone etiquette.
New arrivals are advised that “with people who are more senior to you, don’t be offended if they are blunt,” that “it is acceptable for important clients to walk in and out of a meeting as it progresses” and that “there is a tendency for meetings not to start on time.”