Email Etiquette: Indian Companies Struggle to Switch Over to MNC Culture

Of late, many Indian companies have been taken over by MNCs but the internal communications, especially email etiquette has come to a non-starter as mindset of an Indian firm employee remains the same of servitude, if not over polite.

Many employees of MNCs who join these Indian firms find their annual assessments filled with advisories by their managers to learn the etiquette of email communication, who do not realize that they are the ones who should effect a shift in tune with the global communication style.

Here are some instances:

— “Dear xxxxx, I am sending herewith xx for your kind perusal and approval” — An MNC employee will just say “PFA for your approval.”

— “This is to inform you that the team will attend…xxx event. I request you all to attend.” But an MNC manager will find it too slavish and instead writes:”Please attend the event”…xxxx.

— Never use all CAPS and bold fonts as this will give the recipient the impression that you are shouting at him/her.

— Avoid over-friendly tone as it goes against the norm in MNCs. Especially the first mail should be formal and avoid sending an email if you are angry or upset. Just save a draft and re-read it when you’re calmand then send it.

— In Indian emails one finds Dear sir, or Sir, which are never used in MNC culture. It is always by first name but Indian managers haven’t graduated to accept this MNC culture and many of them prefer ‘Sir’ still.

— Another major blunder that Indian managers/employees follow is to begin something like this” This is to request you” and MNCs never have such diction.

— “Please” is one word that should replace all honorifics in your emails, if you are an MNC or aspiring to be one. It  should be used instead of words like request, beg, perusal, which sound more slavish and colonial.

But everything depends finally who your CEO is. If he is old-fashioned, you have to live with his slavish mindset until an MNC takes over and changes the mindset of all


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