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What Makes a Star Intrapreneur - The Secret Sauce

Unfold Consulting conducted yet another round of industry engagement over Intrapreneurship. This LinkedIn live audio event, titled “What Makes a Start Intrapreneur - The Secret Sauce,” was held on Friday, 10th May at 3 pm. The speakers for this event had been the winners of the prestigious Vanguard Awards in the past. We had Mr. Ravindra Shet of Samsung, Ms. Radhica Kanniganti from Wipro, and Mr. Piyush Bhamre of Celoxis. They had come together to share their insights on being a successful intrapreneur. The session was moderated by Aparna George, who tackled critical questions about the intrapreneurial spirit, sparking valuable insights for those seeking to drive change from within.

In this blog, we summarize the discussion anchored on three broad questions.

What Makes You a Star Intrapreneur?

The panelists discussed the traits distinguishing a successful intrapreneur by sharing examples from their journeys. They highlighted the importance of strategic thinking and networking, noting that intrapreneurs must build relationships and garner support from various departments.

·         Intrapreneurs are Good at Spotting Opportunities

Mr. Shet emphasized the need for spotting opportunities, resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to learn continuously. He shared that being a star intrapreneur requires navigating corporate structures effectively and knowing how to scale if your intrapreneurial initiative gets accepted or acquired.


·         They Push Boundaries

Ms. Kanniganti emphasized that successful intrapreneurs do not get deterred by roadblocks. They are initiative-taking and ready to do what it takes to push boundaries. They know their end goal and are keen to make an impact. She also shared the importance of considering the bigger picture and learning how to scale.


·         They Have the Right Mindset

Mr. Bhamre emphasized the importance of having a mindset that improves the status quo. Intrapreneurs should be deeply committed to identifying and addressing issues and bottlenecks. They should focus on value creation and take the initiative, asking how they can contribute rather than what they can gain.


How Important is Expertise When It Comes to Becoming an Intrapreneur?

The panelists deemed expertise significant, but expertise alone is insufficient to become an Intrapreneur. Some other factors are also needed.

·         Passion Leads to Expertise

Ms. Kanniganti pointed out it all starts with passion. Passion drives learning and deep domain knowledge, which allows intrapreneurs to identify opportunities and challenges more accurately and make their proposals more credible. Aparna added that even young professionals can leverage their passion to develop expertise. We also had our audience member, Sangeetha Menon, contribute to this discussion and share how they can create better solutions by including everyone in the team during brainstorming.


·         Collaboration

Mr. Shet, who has several patents to his name, highlighted that expertise should be complemented with a collaborative approach to leverage the collective knowledge of cross-functional teams.


·         Problem Solving Mindset

Mr. Shet and Mr. Bhamre both echoed that a problem-solving mindset motivates an intrapreneur’s ability to develop innovative solutions. These solutions are efficient and contribute meaningfully to their organization’s goals.


What is the Difference Between Innovation and Intrapreneurship?

The distinction between innovation and intrapreneurship was explored in detail. Mr. Shet described innovation as generating innovative ideas and finding solutions to problems involving people from other departments. Solutions may be the focus of an innovator, but an Intrapreneur plays a more holistic role in taking the solution and executing it profitably. Intrapreneurship involves more ownership and responsibility, as they need to navigate internal processes to implement their ideas. It is about execution and bringing those ideas to fruition within the constraints of the organization and goes beyond solutions.

Key Takeaways

The discussion offered valuable insights into the challenges faced by intrapreneurs and how to navigate them. Here are a few key points:

·         Building Relationships and Trust: Intrapreneurs often need to navigate complex organizational structures and gain buy-in from various stakeholders. Building relationships and trust across departments is essential. This involves actively listening to concerns, addressing them transparently, and demonstrating the value proposition of one’s ideas.

·         Plan to Scale: Expansion and scaling are crucial for intrapreneurial success. While innovative ideas are the starting point, their value is realized when they can be expanded and implemented profitably across the organization. Effective scaling ensures that the benefits of the innovation are maximized, leading to a more significant impact and sustainable growth within the company.

·         Adaptability and Persistence: The intrapreneurial journey is rarely smooth sailing. The discussion brought forth the importance of adaptability and persistence. Being able to adjust, learn from failures, and keep pushing forward is crucial for achieving success.

The LinkedIn audio event provided rich insights into intrapreneurship, encouraging participants to embrace innovative thinking and drive change within their organizations. The discussion underscored the significance of developing essential traits, leveraging expertise, and understanding the nuanced difference between innovation and intrapreneurship to succeed as an intrapreneur.


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