Nepalese Culture

Business Culture

  • Both the traditional greeting and handshake are common in business settings. If shaking hands with business associates, avoid holding a firm grip. This can be seen as aggressive.
  • Allow small talk to precede any serious discussions. Personal relationships are usually well established before business begins. There can be much time spent getting to know business associates over cups of tea (chiya).
  • Expect to be asked questions that may not relate solely to your work. People often enquire into each other’s family and life experiences to build rapport.
  • Negotiation accompanies almost any business deal in Nepal. Once both parties have agreed upon a certain price and terms, do not push for further negotiations of a lower price.
  • The Nepalese are quite simplistic in the way they negotiate. Cheating and deceiving isn’t very common.
  • Most decisions are made by senior managers without much input from those in subordinate positions. However, this may vary.


  • Nepalese business networks are often comprised of relatives and peers as nepotism is assumed to guarantee trust.
  • Expect business correspondence over email to begin with a formal spiritual greeting.
  • On the Corruption Perception Index (2017), Nepal is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries, receiving a score of 31 (on a scale from 0 to 100). This perception suggests that the country’s public sector is somewhat corrupt.

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