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India is developing at breakneck speed, and New Delhi, its thriving capital city, is riding shotgun. Parts of it, anyhow—most of the action in Delhi (as the locals call it) happens in suburbs like Gurgaon (home to multinational corporations and IT firms), Noida (where you’ll find many of India’s big national companies) and Faridabad (industrial-sector territory). So, if you’re here to make deals, hire a driver and prepare to sit in traffic.
Photo: Sami Siva
Lay of the land: Optics count for a lot in New Delhi, so image and reputation should trump convenience when it comes to choosing a hotel. That means you’ll be expected to stay in central Delhi, even though many businesses are in the suburbs. For a taste of opulence, the Taj Mahal is the quintessential Delhi hotel and perennial host to foreign dignitaries and heads of state, thanks to its proximity to the Secretariat Building. If you seek a less formal setting, the Aman, a luxury city resort located steps from the Delhi Golf Club, is the essence of tranquillity and privacy. Grand stone columns and jaali screens, inspired by Mughal palace architecture, keep out the hustle and bustle.
Make your pitch: “Multi-cuisine” restaurants are the latest trend in India, and some restaurants employ multiple chefs, each with a different specialty. Q’BA, a resto in the heart of Connaught Place, one of the city’s largest business districts, is the most stylish of the lot and can do Indian, Italian, Lebanese, continental, Chinese and Thai cuisines.
Seal the deal: The fastest way to be buds with your New Delhi counterparts is to get to know cricket. In particular, bone up on the still-in-its-infancy Indian Premier League, which is taking the nation by storm. Know the stars and the outcomes of the big matches, and be prepared to talk cricket over a pint at happy hour. A good bet is Striker Pub & Brewery, a cricket-themed Gurgaon watering hole with a business-oriented clientele. Global Foyer Mall, Golf Course Road, Sector 43, +91-124-404-0101
What to read: The Case of the Missing Servant, the first installment of Delhi-based British author Tarquin Hall’s Vish Puri detective series, follows a dapper PI as he investigates the disappearance of a household maid.
First person: “In India, it’s impolite to say ‘no,’ so you will rarely hear a New Delhi businessperson object to something directly. It’s also important that you never say ‘no’ overtly yourself—always present your concerns in a more agreeable manner, to avoid offending your Indian counterparts.” —Lulu Phongmany is director, business development, for iVillage, a division of NBC Universal. She travels to New Delhi on business twice a year.