Egyptian Cultural Differences Rochanda Robertson The cultural differences between the United States and Egypt are high in numbers. Before traveling to Egypt and meeting with potential business leaders, many things must be taken into consideration. There are some things that we as Americans do and say that is considered normal in the U. S. but would be considered abnormal or rude in Egypt. The first step that would have to be taken is to establish a good relationship with my potential Egyptian business leaders.
This would have to be done because most Egyptians will only do business with people that they know and respect. According to (Reich) Egyptians like to plan their business meetings out well in advance. Here in the U. S. it’s not uncommon for a business meeting to be hastily scheduled ad also rescheduled at the last minute. In Egypt that would be considered rude and the meeting would more than likely be denied. Meetings should be confirmed one week in advanced and then again in a day or two before the meeting.
When meeting with Egyptian business leaders both male and female U. S. representatives should dress very well in order to make a good impression. The female should dress appropriately by making sure that her sleeves cover majority of her arms and that her dress or skirt is covering her knees. Males should dress in a dark colored suit and should not have any facial jewelry or jewelry around his neck. (Kwintessential, 2011) At the meeting most Egyptians will offer a drink suck as coffee or tea.
If you do not accept the drink then that is considered to be rude, you don’t have to drink any of the drink but to deny it would be like denying the individual. In the United States if the host offers a drink and its declined then the host may think that the person isn’t thirsty or may not think anything of it at all. Eye contact is very important to Egyptians when you are greeting one another and also when you are engaging in conversation. During a meeting the discussion may take a long time because most Egyptians like to deliberate thoroughly before reaching a decision.
Therefore using high pressure tactics would not be very useful in this situation. Egyptians are known for haggling and will always try to get the better deal. In order to adapt the photos into the Egyptian market they would first have to be modified. The handshake photo should show a looser handshake and the photo should also be in black and white. Egyptians do not shake hands very firmly and I think that using black and white just shows that there’s no color barrier or anything like that.
For the photo of the group of people together I think that the photo should have a caption. The caption should suggest that they are all working together using good teamwork. Egyptians respect age and experience so maybe the people in that photo could also be labeled with the guy with the gray hair as being the leader since that’s what Egyptian would respect more. One recommendation that I would make when it comes to general pricing is to cut expenses immediately.
Whatever things that the company could go without, they would immediately get rid of. After that meetings would be set up with professional advisors such as accountants just to make sure that all finances are in order. Next we would suggest that a list of the businesses strengths and weaknesses are addressed and worked on. For instance we would make sure that everything is being properly marketed on all available sources, especially on the internet, which is free.
In order to create and maintain a healthy relationship with the Egyptians many things will have to be learned and changes within our business would have to come first before making any plans to do business with someone whose cultural differences differ so much from ours.