First, Understand The Culture, Then Market

Even though the title and cover illustration of your story "Investing in India" (Cover Story, Aug. 11) are sure to scare away any prospective investor in India, the report seems to have reasonably sized up the subcontinent. As one reads on, it becomes clear that the woes of leading companies like Mercedes-Benz and Coca-Cola Co. are not products of corrupt Indian bureaucracy nor bumpy politics but of a basic misunderstanding by marketers of the culture and its impact on consumer behavior. Indian consumers are, after all, no more finicky than their counterparts around the globe. You should be pointing your fingers at the marketers, not at Indian consumers.

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