If you missed out on part 1 of our Iran essentials, you can find it here.
One of the greatest virtues one can have when doing business in Iran is patience and the readiness to adapt. The huge administrative system in Iran, combined with the tradition that senior management is virtually included in all decision making without delegating responsibility to lower levels is a big reason to never lose your cool. Such processes eventually need their time since decision-making is slower when most of it stays with senior management. Smart organizations that want to have a head-start directly communicate with the senior management of well-established companies.
People who are new to the country will quickly conclude that the line between business and family/friends is very thin. When inside the right circles, it would be unwise to refuse an opportunity suggested by a trusted friend. Businesses should keep in mind that finding a middleman who is not known from such circles and/or seems to be a completely new face can be a tricky and even dangerous task. Iran still has its own issues based on sanctions and many people make a partnership with others based on empty promises for a quick personal financial gain.
That makes it even more crucial for new businesses to search for trustworthy professionals in Iran by now. Q1 of 2016 will open up many possibilities for European brands. Americans are still within their own legal choke-hold, keeping them from venturing to initial business meetings in Tehran. Even by now, hotels in Tehran are booked out and many Iranian companies want to establish a partnership with more or less the same foreign businesses. So there is already a competitive platform for those to hold their ground, even by now. Not all of these businesses are going to survive in such a tough market and the ones who do will not find it as a source for easy money. If there is one international rule that is true no matter what country you are in-it really doesn’t matter what country- is that no institution or person will give the other an easier way to the prized target goal. Especially in places like Tehran, where so many things are at stake for the city’s people , and for foreign businesses simply a positive opportunity with less liabilities, the people will rightfully think about themselves first. And at this point, the art of effective negotiation will be everybody’s savior.
So before flying off, it is crucial for all interested parties to do their homework: What is the Iranian culture like? What is its history and how does it affect the present way of business? How exactly does the Iranian economy distinguish itself from other economies? Imagine you are preparing this for negotiations at a business meeting, not for a few days in Tehran to scout the market: If you’d attend unprepared, then you have already lost. One thing Iranians are extremely good at, is to adapt themselves completely to a new culture since many Iranians nowadays live in the most different countries such as USA, Canada, Germany, France and on. They know about the importance and value to fit themselves in, which makes it even more crucial for non-Iranians to do the same thing while in Iran.
Yet the destiny of Iran’s economy is still undecided and it will take patience, sharpened senses and wits to make the next year be a win. Politics will always be a factor that most of us cannot control directly. But there is a reason why the civil majority of a system is considered its greatest power since the days of BC empires. If that civil majority is bold enough to perceive information and act respectively of course. That makes it even more important to keep track of the 2016 presidential elections in the US of A.
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We will be back with the next part of our Iran essentials soon. A merry Christmas until then!