I've since had a chance to speak to several groups and people at my company who will be key in the role I will have in Pune.
Talking with HR was a great chance to understand a bit better how the process will go in regards to visiting, finding housing and ensuring as smooth a transition as possible. The current plan is a mid/end October visit to Pune where Stephanie and I will have a chance to learn more about the area, determine housing options (and hopefully choose one) with the help of an agent, and eat some good food. Maybe super awesome food like THIS. Its going to be a whirlwind of activity, Stephanie has to fly to Florida after our return almost same day. And we fly in to Newark in the wee morning hours. I'm actually going to head back to work that day.
I also had a chance to talk to a future stakeholder of my work, who I've been told I would be working closely with. It was really an introduction in passing, as they were visiting my office for other reasons. They warmly welcomed me, and showed excitement to work with me and also excitement for Stephanie and I to join the "International Crowd". In true Geo-mobile fashion, they went on to explain that their family had caught the International bug over 10 years ago. Since, they've been all over the world including positions in India & Southeast Asia, Kazakhstan, Houston, Paris and more. And they have found that they have grown more in doing so. I hope that kind of enrichment translates to Stephanie and I (and Stella)!
The third person is my future boss. I had a chance to talk with the head-honcho for about three quarters of an hour about my future role in Pune, and it's going to be a very interesting job to say the least. Its a huge shift from what I current do (highly lab-oriented product development of completely new technology). Think the scientists from "Big Bang Theory" and you're close...
In my new role, I will be overseeing a group of mechanical engineers and designers who will act as an extension of resources in certain types of projects groups all around the world. Sounds managerial and flashy, but then again that's what I asked for as a next step! Am I going to become the boss like in Dilbert?
Jokes aside, a large part of the job is going to consist of bridging a divide. In changing the outlook of how people view working with Pune. I am going to have to market our team whilst delivering high quality work, and push to change the conception that sending more simplified mechanical tasks to India is not "outsourcing" but rather working with an extended workforce. People around the world call work sent to China or India for lower labor costs "outsourcing". And to a lot of companies employing contractors... it is. But at our company, the people in Pune are colleagues. They have the same culture, share the same trainings as other offices world-wide. Their management structure and quality systems are the same. They are willing and enthusiastic to travel to get to know projects and technology, learning the ins and outs to be able to be an extension of your project team in another country. If they are equally trained and very committed, I just need to learn how to market that resource. Can't be that hard?