Indians are shrewd in many field like: honoring guests from other country (leaving few incidences happened here and there!), software building, patronizing, patriotism, lauding, & smart work like JUGAD! (Watch a video on shrewd Indian inventors). But, when it comes to negotiation (on a day to day basis by the common man); Indians are the most shrewd negotiators. A blog post in live mint blog on negotiation potential of Indians compelled me to write this post on negotiation shrewdness of Indians.
Unlike their western counterparts; Indians are what we call -Value oriented people! In his post, Padmaparna Ghosh writes:
"Negotiating has got to be India’s single largest national skill. I think Indians can negotiate their way out of anything in everyday life (not even touching incidents of national and international proportions). In fact they are so good at it, that I would would go to the extent of saying that if anyone can cajole/wheedle/argue their way through an airport with a 40-kg bag and a detonator in hand, it would be an Indian."
I have my own set of experiences with this hidden potential of Indians (although, my understanding is not limited to Indians! There are millions of Chinese, Americans, Brazilians, and Japanese out there including representatives from rest of the countries, doing the same! Suggestion for the reader: "observe people around you!"):
Lady to Rikshawala: Bhaiya...How much for 'X Hospital'?
Rikshawala: How many are you?
Lady: What!!! Can't you see...? One person!... How much for 'X Hospital'?
Rikshawala: Taking a moment to observe the weight of her purse! Then quoting; Rs. 50.
Lady: (Exaggerating her surprise) Whatttt! Are you crazy? 'X Hospital' is less than 1 km away from here...and you are asking me Rs. 50!!!
Rikshawala: Madam...if you think that it's so near, then why don't you walk a little. And if you think that I am charging more than what is considered to be reasonable, then why don't to consult with other rickshawalas. (well...there was no other rickshawala around!)
//...She knew that Walking even 1 km. is worth burning 2 kg calorie for her!...so she need to bargain the situation, but not to over fight. (But for Indians, bargaining itself it like a do or die exercise...!)//
Lady: Ok...I'll give you 20, what do you think?
Rikshawala: ??? Madam, I have five children to feed beside my wife, my father and mother! If I start accepting Rs. 20 from everyone that comes to me, I won't even be able to feed them once in a day! And you are not the first person, whom I'll be charging Rs. 50 for 'X Hospital'.
Lady: Fine...I make it 30?
Rikshawala: Madam...you don't understand. I don't pull Riksha, because I need money. I pull riksha because this country needs riksha pullers!
// I don't know, when this rikshwala read Aristotle!//
Lady: Ohh... (thinking..) Look, I don't have time for such debate! Take 35...???
Rikshawala: Madam...I'll agree, but can I ask you one question?
Lady: (little relieved) fine...ask.
Rikshawala: You are going to a hospital. Will you bargain the same way for Rs. 20-30 with the doctor and the chemist? Or is it that, you people do this only with poor and weak people?
//...A wave of thoughts stormed her mind! Because, she never before though that way...///
This is true for most of us! We bargain where we find that, other person would not care or his/her opinion would not weight if we go a little extra mile in our bargaining journey! But we don't bargain when we see that situation involves a perceived social status management! Are we hypocrite? I bet we are!