I’m Hermann Kracke, a Marketing Consultant and Culture Guide. Actually, Marketing Consultant AND Culture Guide. As despite of an extensive business background I have found it pays to look beyond the usual practices of the craft when helping a business get a foot in the door here.
Because that’s - as commonplace as it sounds - what business ultimately is about: Interactions of human beings, their decisions and inseparably the culture you bring to the table and the one you find on the other side of it.
I strongly believe that - while cultural awareness and diversity are more important than many think - all differences can be overcome. Flourishing long-term partnerships can be built. People all over the world share manifold common interests (and not just business).
My goal is to help people find and understand such common interests and I Iove the idea of wearing many hats to accomplish this.
My job is to help identify a target market and position a service offering but what I primarily do is cut through cultural differences in Indo-German business relationships and open up a clear highway for communication.
I am called upon to give input on reports and proposals and do in-depth analysis of communications to convey the nuances of German culture specific styles and reveal what is being said between the lines.
As an advisor I may also act as balancing liaison between company managers and clients. I provide information on local customs and norms applicable to business in Germany.
My aim is to facilitate respectful and worthwhile business interactions by eliminating the frustration from misunderstandings that would otherwise make progress difficult and alienate clients and partners.
You will be surprised how smoothly your business relationship with your German business partner will go once mutual understanding and trust have been established.
In early 2004 after I had graduated from a German business school and spent a year as a Marketing Coordinator in Spain I discovered an ad, purchased a (bargain) ticket to India and just four weeks later found myself at New Delhi airport without too much of a plan nor many expectations.
I had read my ‘Culture Shock India’ copy on the plane and admittedly this place felt different in the beginning. While everybody kept telling me to take some time to adjust - actually the more I saw the more excited I got to explore the country. And that is what I did every other (extended) weekend then - luckily encouraged by my boss and a growing circle of friends. I am not sure when and how but at some point not much later India and me simply clicked and I ended up staying (working and traveling) longer than I had thought.
What I can say today though is why that happened: Clearly people. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality of the people - from my forthcoming colleagues at the company who had hired me to help them support their German customers, to travel acquaintances, to virtually everybody I met in the streets.
Since then I have travelled back and forth many times and, of course, after working with friends in India for more than 10 years I would today draw a more distinguished picture of the country than in those early days - but I am still fascinated by the people, by their imagination and their resourcefulness. I will never forget that India has taught me wherever you go you can be certain to find people who are just as caring, enterprising and curious as you are.