With a title like this, I know I am generalizing things from my small keyhole to encompass the developed and the developing world.
My observations are based on my experiences in Silicon Valley in the US and in Pune in India. Now, these places themselves are a different culture from the rest of the country, so I will not get into details, but only speak at a higher level, based on what I see and hear and with some extrapolation.
Indians do not take criticism constructively. Rather than take it objectively, the criticism becomes a personal issue.
Indians will improve only when they look at criticism objectively.
Indians are bad listeners. People will not let you finish. I suspect this also may have also resulted in bad customer service in call centers.
I, myself, once had the experience where I had problems with my ISP in the US where I eventually got routed to a person in a call center. I could make out that he was Indian from his accent and that it was a call center because the guy did not even have access to my customer records. And rather than understanding my problem, the person was telling me how to fix things.
Obviously, he was reading blindly from a script.
Deadlines in India are more of a guideline instead of a drop-dead date. Be prepared to hear excuses like “there was a power outage”, “I had no Internet connectivity”, “my maid did not come for work”, all kinds of excuses, just short of “the dog ate my homework”.
Women in society
Women have a paradoxical place in society
While most men respect a woman, movies and media objectify them.
This makes the men more frustrated and desperate, and the same person who was respecting a woman yesterday now wants to see some skin today (of that same woman).
I am still wrapping my head around this one.
Violence against women is increasing or is reported more.
Many places and areas blindly ape the West, but ignore the fact that the conditions in the West and their conditions might be different (heat and humidity for e.g.) and the problem being solved in India might have bigger consequences.
Dirt and filth
Garbage collection and disposal is very unreliable (spotty), and expect garbage in the dumpster to pile up. Someday, the people will corelate hygiene and disease.
Indians will use foreign goods and not use their own, local products, but are generally protective of their industries.
A good example of this is cars. Indians will tout Indian brands as the best but those same people will drive a Hyundai or Chevy or some other imported car. To me, it is a case of not doing what you preach.
It is ironic, and an Indian will talk about how great his/her country is while he/she has a Hyundai in their garage, wear Nike shoes, drink a Starbucks and goes to Subway, and use a Nokia or Samsung or an iPhone.
This small list can be extrapolated to most developing countries, though I know I am stereotyping them.