Managing offshore R&D centers is a complex process, especially when it involves centers that are designed as a matrix organization. When the general managers of India center don’t travel often to the other centers, it reduces their ability to form relationship with their US teams, which in turn impairs their ability in building trust on the offshore team and allowing them to take a larger ownership on projects they deliver. Travel would also allow the general manager to take part in product and business strategy discussions that they would otherwise not able to be part of.
Zinnov research shows that general managers of India centers should spend a third of their time on the road meeting with their peers, product management, customers and senior management at various centers. General managers should consider travel as a productivity driver and continuously measure it.