Be an ‘intrapreneur’ to be successful entrepreneur

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on July 02, 2012

Innovative ideas: Mr Ondiappan Arivazhagan, CEO, International Institute of Project Management, speaking to management students of Anna University, Guindy, during a BL Club lecture.

“The only way to shine and grow within an organisation is to think and act like an intra-enterprise entrepreneur.”

To the question ‘how many of you want to become an entrepreneur?’ only a handful of management students replied in the affirmative.

“You are not alone,” replied the speaker of the event, setting the right tone for the lecture to follow.

The event was the Business Line Club lecture presented by Central Bank of India for the MBA students of Anna University.

The speaker was Mr Ondiappan Arivazhagan, CEO, International Institute of Project Management.

He quoted a recent study of Harvard Business School students which stated that only 3 per cent of them were opting for entrepreneurship after their graduation, but the rest wanted to join a great company as an employee with an excellent pay package.

Not all who join a great company survive the employment beyond two years, on an average. After that time, the enterprise starts to view an employee as a liability if they are not efficient and do no add value.

In fact, in the IT and ITeS industries, this turnaround time for an employee is much lesser, say about six months only, compared to other core industries.

Mr Arivazhagan exhorted the students to become intrapreneurs, to avoid being laid off, instead of merely being 9-to-5 white collar employees following instructions.

The only way to shine and grow within an organisation is to think and act like an intrapreneur, he stressed. An intrapreneur, he explained, is an intra-enterprise entrepreneur. For a successful entrepreneurial career, be an intrapreneur at least for a few years, said Mr Arivazhagan. Intrapreneurs have to work their way to innovation and freedom within the company’s limits. The policies, systems, procedures and culture may inhibit one’s freedom or creative thinking.

An intrapreneur can be successful only if he or she innovates and commercialises her innovation within the company in the form a new product or process.

Mr Arivazhagan quoted 3M and its policy of allowing all employees to spend about 15 per cent of their work time nurturing their innovative ideas for new product development or betterment of the processes within their department to encourage the intrepreneurial spirit among all the employees.

Published on July 02, 2012

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