Business etiquette in Nepal

Hello everybody,

As you know, professional habits may differ from one country to another. In order to help newly arrived expats better understand their new professional environment in Nepal, we warmly encourage you to share information and insights about the do’s and don’ts in the workplace.

For instance, are there office manners? How do you greet your co-workers? Do you greet your management differently? Is there a dress code? Particular rules to observe? Maybe a professional body language?

On another level, what is key for a successful professional meeting? Are there any steps to follow? How do you a start a negotiation?

In other words, what are the most important things to know for a successful professional integration in Nepal?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!


Would be really great if someone had answers to these. We're thinking of opening up a cafe and it would be great to talk to someone who knows a little about how businesses run in nepal  :)

Nepali like to have many meetings. They are often late and formal meetings can go on much longer than one would think. It's hard to get them to keep the meetings in English.

Put everything in writing and explain what will happen in various situations/contingencies. Be sure you understand you have few advantages and zero percent chance of getting your money out of Nepal-except by exporting Nepali goods.

Nepal is a great place to retire and I can see a great potential for modernization, but it's hard to get the Nepali to understand potentials. You will think you've found the perfect person to partner with only to find them to changing the rules and the details you never put in writing will become quite hazy.

Solution: You need to know the person for a long time before you can trust them. It isn't that they are immoral because they are not. The Nepali are lovely people, but they look to tourists to solve their problems and it is often seen as 'Tourist give-Nepali take.' I do know Nepali who would be good, hardworking partners or workers, but I've been here quite awhile. If you'd like to PM me I'd be happy to see if I can help you.

Nepal is one of those countries where expats are not protected from a business point of view.

The authorities will try to extort as much money as possible from the investor.

The law protects the local partner and its in his intrest that the business goes bust; so as to liquidate the assests and pocket them.

The authorities also get a slice of the liquidation and its in their intrest that the expat leaves so as to welcome the new "fish".

Laws tend to change overtime and any request needs to be greased with money.

All in all its not worth the bother to invest in nepal; almost all investors regret coming here and have left empty handed.

Hope that helps.

Wow! I haven't experienced anything like that for a while. I love living in Nepal. However, I have to say it would be impossible to get the investment/money out of Nepal unless you took it in product.

Take a look at Madagascar with the Chinese buying up the beautiful rainforest and chopping it down. No, I think this is so much better. I hope Nepal stays like this, but sorry you experienced it like this. I don't want a McDonald's to come to Kathmandu. Only 'smart' foriegn investments need to come here.

If there is something to help Nepal to develop then that's fine, but to come here as a foriegner and compete with the local people is probably not so good. I'm not trying to criticize, but there is this caste system here and as best as I can tell we are at the bottom. It's the same in my home country. I'd hate to be a foriegner in the US at this time. We aren't nearly as nice to foriegners as Nepali are.

We, as expats, need to keep in mind that we are here at the pleasure of the government and people, no matter where we go. Only Nepali have the right to do business here and therefore we need to be a support, not competition-INHO.

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