TechTown’s Forum Helps Local Businesses Bridge the Culture Gap and Do Business with India


DETROIT, June 1, 2009 – Detroit business owners looking to explore new markets in a stagnant economy should come to the Indian Business Forum on June 9 at TechTown to learn how to overcome cultural differences that inhibit business interactions.

The Indian Business Forum is a free quarterly program designed by TechTown to facilitate the exchange of information about doing business with India.

The event will be held Tuesday, June 9, 2009 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at TechTown, 440 Burroughs Street, Detroit, Michigan 48202. The event is free, and registration is online at

The Indian Business Forum is sponsored by Corp! Magazine,

The featured speaker is Naren Balasubramaniam, Vice President of System Human Resources Services at Henry Ford Health System, and Advisor for Global Crosswalk Inc. His discussion is titled, “Crossing the Cultural Chasm—Doing Business with India.”

This talk will cover the following points:

  • Gaining knowledge of cultural values and beliefs when working with Asian Indians
  • Understanding the cultural impact on workplace behavior and outcomes when working in a global delivery model

Managing talent in the global marketplace presents unique challenges because of cultural differences: culture affects the way people lead others, lead their lives, perceive each other and participate in team environments. Recent studies have shown that one-third of all initiatives involving global teams fail to produce expected results, and that 35 percent of expatriate employees prematurely return to their home countries without completing their assignments, primarily due to culture shock. This means that global entrepreneurs are leaving money on the table.

Naren Balasubramaniam is a seasoned global HR practitioner with more than a decade of human resources and organization development expertise in the United States and India. As an advisor at Global Crosswalk Inc, he provides strategic leadership in developing products and services that enable individuals to succeed in the global marketplace. His areas of expertise include cultural competence training and cross-culture strategies.

Balasubramanian writes a blog, Cultural Competence Think Tank, on bridging culture gaps to do business overseas more effectively. ( He also serves on the advisory committee for the Center for Global Leadership and Understanding at Lawrence Technological University.

Balasubramaniam leads seminars on a wide range of subjects that include communication and team-building skills to lead effectively in a multicultural or global work environment. He focuses on cultural values that distinguish collectivistic cultures (such as Asian, Asia Pacific cultures) and individualistic cultures (such as American, European cultures).


TechTown is an urban community of entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, mentors and corporate partners creating an internationally influential village in Detroit. TechTown brings the resources of Wayne State University to high-technology startup companies so as to diversify and strengthen Michigan’s economy in high-growth emerging industries. For more information, visit