The Horizontal India office (located in Vadodara, Gujarat) opened its doors in January of 2014 with two employees and a puja ceremony, and now they boast a team of 19 employees and a rotating squad of interns.
With a time difference that ranges between 10.5–11.5 hours, fostering a shared culture between the India and Minnesota offices can be a challenge. In a step to strengthen the connection between offices, two members of Horizontal India have come to Minnesota on a two-month field trip.
Hardeep Bhamra runs operations and infrastructure along with overseeing the recruiting operations of Horizontal India. Kiran Patil is Development Manager and leads the web solutions team (and is also one of Horizontal India’s four Sitecore MVPs). This is their first time in the U.S. “We came to understand the culture,” Hardeep says. “To understand the environment and meet people.”
Kiran agrees, noting that his goal is to improve communication between the U.S. team and the India team. “If you miss something [in communicating], it takes a whole day to find out. How do we make the process better?”
Horizontal India isn’t just a satellite office; it’s an integral part of our team. The entire country of India has six Sitecore Global MVPs, and we’ve got four of them on our team. In addition, the time difference allows HI to offer 24 hours of attention to client work.
Part of their cultural immersion comes with experiencing Minnesota outside of work. Even though the snow and ice are gone, Hardeep and Kiran have had to experience cloudy, 40-degree days. “It feels like the peak of the winter for us,” Hardeep says. Despite this, they’re enjoying the city. They even made it to a Twins game—and experienced the wonderful and rare Twins’ win! “The audience was 24,000 people,” Hardeep says. “It was awesome.” Despite being fans of cricket, Hardeep and Kiran had to learn the rules of baseball. “Both are played with a bat and a ball, but it’s a different game,” Hardeep says.
It may be a tired metaphor, but in this case, it’s an apt one: Horizontal India and the U.S. offices use the same tools, and they all approach business with an open and participatory philosophy, but sometimes we just have to go and watch a game to learn the rules.
Kiran and Hardeep are optimistic. Even though miles of ocean separate them, the team has always taken steps to connect past the technical details of their jobs, and this is just one more step on that journey. “The longer the journey,” Hardeep says, “the more interesting it becomes.”