Distributed teams can work

2:31 AM Suvir Sujan 2 Comments

In Silicon Valley, we keep hearing from investors that they would only fund companies that are based locally. And the entire management team needs to be based there (outside field sales of course!).

As an India fund that has made prolific cross border technology investments in the India/US Corridor, we have seen a number of successful investments where the management team is distributed across the globe :

Examples in our portfolio :
 1. CEO in India, CTO and Head of Sales in the US
 2. CEO and Head of Sales in the US, CTO in India
 3. CEO and CTO in the US, Inside Sales leadership and team out of India
 4. CEO and CTO in India, Head of Sales in the US

Having run a company in the consumer internet space in India where the CTO was based in New Zealand, I have first hand experience with distributed teams.  Clear communication protocols are required between these functional teams along with a high level of chemistry and trust. The CEO needs to spend time making sure the distributed teams are culturally integrated within the organisation via frequent "all hands" meetings virtually or physically and the functional teams need to be very disciplined on communicating and sometimes overcommunicating.

The positive thing about distributed teams is that an organisation can hire the best talent possible given the lack of geogrpahic boundaries which they couldn't find locally. There are definitely challenges to running a distributed organisation, but with the right talent and processes, it can be a real strategic advantage.


Sandesh said...

Suvir no new posts since quite sometime now ?

Aditya Singh said...

I would highly recommend using Asana for managing such teams. I have been using it for sometime now.