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February 22, 2004

Best practices for cross-border companies


With Silicon Valley VCs pushing portfolio companies to India and Ishoni Networks already a case study on how not to handle an offshore operation, there is clearly a need for understanding the rules for managing cross-border companies successfully.

Businessworld magazine recently provided some "thumb rules" as provided by Bob Williams, general partner at Bay Partners:

The head of the offshore operation in India should, ideally be a returning NRI, and "go back a long way" with the top managers or founders of the US entity. The engineers from the Indian and US entities should regularly switch places--in order to facilitate strong linkages. (Incidentally, this is one rule that Unimobile/Graycell--one of the earliest venture backed US-India cross-border start-ups--followed religiously.) Apart from actually using the video-conferencing and other remote communication equipment, it is also very important for the CEO and top managers to "regularly get on the plane to India".

Click Here to read Willams's entire 8 step "formula".