Working in Chennai

Tamil Nadu is dotted with some of the best engineering universities in India and as a result a number of high tech IT companies have opened offices in the state, with Chennai as its hub.

Additionally, many of the world’s largest car manufacturers have plants near to the city, which has fuelled many support industries.

People in India tend to work very long days. There isn’t much of a 9 to 5 working culture and many offices will continue to be busy late in to the night. In addition, many companies will ask employees to work on Saturdays or come in every alternate Saturday.

If deadlines have to be met or if it means coming to work over a weekend, people in India will give everything to their job with barely a second thought.

On the down side, attrition tends to be quite high, especially in the job functions that can be repetitive such as in call centres or in data entry (collectively referred to as Business Process Outsourcing or BPO for short). Workers are prepared to jump to another company with the same working conditions for a few thousand extra rupees a month.

Punctuality can be a problem, particularly if you want to enforce a morning meeting. The unpredictable traffic and unreliable public transport means that a meeting scheduled at 9am could see people turning up 10, 15 or 30 minutes late as unforseen factors plague their commute.

Most office workers will speak English, with the more senior or better educated workers leaning towards a fluency in the language. People working in entry level job roles will have some grasp of English but flowing conversations may be difficult.

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