Essential Information about money:
Exchange rates :£1 (GBP) buys about 83 IRS - Indian rupees. (May 2006)
Indian business people like to talk in lakh, lacs and crores, it can be confusing so concentrate it’s worth getting your mind round! Extra confusing because Indians don’t conform to the decimal system of putting comma’s in numbers to show thousands. Eg 100,000 = one hundred thousand. The comma signify number of lakh not thousands.
It’s bit like the British slang for £1000 being a “Grand”.
One Lakh = 100,000 IRS which approximates to about £1200 - so you can sort of think of a Lakh as a (UK) Grand.
Whatever you do don’t confuse a Lakh with a Lac - which might sound smaller - but is in fact 10 times bigger. That 50 Lac deal you just shook hands on suddenly doesn’t look quite so attractive!
A Lac is actually a million Indian rupees or about £12,000.
Then for the big boys who like to swagger about and brag a usefull word is Crores - as in “crore look at that yacht!”. That yacht bobbing about just out to sea may have cost ten Crores. A Crore is 10 x a Lac or ten million Indian rupees.
So a Crore = 10,000,000 IRS which is 10 million rupees or about £120,000.
See it’s not so difficult. Just watch out for those Lacs and those Lakhs.
See this - this is a 10 rupee note - a jolly useful note. They can be like gold to get hold of for the average visitor. So every chance you get ask for your change in these, persuade money changers to give you a decent stack.
Why - because everyone and their aunty will expect a tip from the rich westerner, and when you put your hand in your pocket to find a wad of notes that at first glance all look the same - you have to be sure you don’t hand over the wrong note which might be worth a lot of money. So here’s a tip (sorry) - keep a wad of 10 rupee notes in your shirt pocket and the other dosh separately in a saver place. Of course you could always use 5 rupee notes but you don’t want to seem mean do you?
10 rupee is about 12p and quite a generous tip. They certainly make life run smoother and keeps a lot of people happy.