Are you an Intrapreneur?

Dear employee, do you dream big, and always seem to find new ideas to drive innovation?

Do you find a way to expand your role in a way that not only helps you with job crafting but also helps the company you are working in?

Do you always find a way to rethink a seemingly odd idea into something sellable? Well, you might be an intrapreneur!

An ‘intrapreneur’ is essentially an entrepreneur within a company, who can bring innovation and success for the company through their unique skills, their competence and perspective, that is, through their enterprising nature. So, employers, how to recognise the intrapreneur within your company? And employees, how to cultivate or recognise that streak of intrapreneurship within you? Here’s a quick list of qualities that makes one an intrapreneur:

Making Lives Better

An intrapreneur, much like the entrepreneur, has great ideas for innovation and change. What does an entrepreneur do? They find a way to add meaning to their life through a business idea, an innovation that will change the life of the community/the people around for the better. They find this one need, that one gap, and find a way to fill that gap, such that it will add benefit and meaning to their as well as the customer’s life. Similarly, within a company, an intrapreneur, through their enterprising nature, constantly finds ways to make their job more meaningful, and develops new competencies, fills the existing gaps within their role, expands it, and thus expands the scope of change within the company. An intrapreneur makes a company’s ‘life’ better.

Expert seller

One doesn’t have to be in sales to be a good salesperson. Who is a good salesperson? A good salesperson is someone who recognises that a product has great selling potential. They recognise the ideal customers, the ideal way to approach those customers, and the ideal way to market that product so that one can sell it well.

As an article by HBR points out, an intrapreneur is similarly a great salesperson of ideas. They recognise a good idea, even ideas that are underutilised or dormant; a good intrapreneur has the ability to revitalise a seemingly dead idea. They can market or remarket the idea such that the idea is ‘sold’ in the right manner, to the right clientele. In other words, an intrapreneur has the ability to look at ideas innovatively, and thus change the world, and the company, through that idea.


What makes an entrepreneur stand out from everyone? One of the qualities is their ability to network, and establish a reciprocal give and take of services with other businesses. A true entrepreneur understands the value of meaningful connections with other entrepreneurs as well as their ‘loyal’ customers.

An intrapreneur within the company similarly, is an expert networker. They not only get along well with their colleagues, but also have a great network outside of the company, that will enable the company to engage in collaborative endeavours, retain clients and consultations. They will always find new avenues for growth for the company. An article by People Matters brings to notice the side of the intrapreneur that wins over people, and the fact they are not afraid to take risks or fail publicly- they will simply learn and get better.

The intrapreneur thus, could be anyone, who is proactive, who understands the value of meaningful networking, and who sees the potential in ideas, and knows how to bring those ideas to fruition, to better their own as well as the company’s life. An intrapreneur thus brings the enterprising spirit within the company, for the company. So, dear employee, do you see the intrapreneurship bug in you? Dear employers, do you recognise the budding intrapreneurs in your office?

Are you an Intrapreneur?


“Entrepreneurship” is a familiar word to most of us. An entrepreneur is someone who has set up a business of his or her own. They are deemed to be industrious individuals who had the courage to start something from the scratch.

 Who is an intrapreneur?

An intrapreneur is someone within (hence the prefix “intra”) the organisation who has qualities similar to an entrepreneur. They might not have set up their own business (yet) but their way of working, their ability to take risks, problem-solving  skills, creativity, all reflect the spirit of an entrepreneur.

 Why does an organisation need intrapreneurs? Why is such a culture being promoted?

   It often happens that people do have ideas, smart solutions and strategies. But they don’t always speak up thinking:

  • They won’t get any credit.
  • This is not their role.

Companies are now realising what all gets missed out at times because of a lack of encouragement for intrapreneurship.

 A culture of intrapreneurship intends to provide equal opportunities and space to voice ideas to everyone, irrespective of designation.

 An environment that scores high on intrapreneurship would:

  • Keep lines of communication open. Right from security guards, receptionists, would be given opportunities to voice their ideas, even if their ideas might not always fit their “roles”.
  • Allow people from ,say, marketing departments to voice their ideas about administration, the tech department to voice ideas about management, etc.  and vice versa.
  • Foster a sense of collaboration, empowerment, credit and rewards where deserved.

 It is not about using all the ideas at once and creating a mishmash. It is about giving that space to voice, to grow and to innovate and think independently. An intrapreneur needs to be identified and nurtured, and companies are beginning to realise this.

 So, are you an intrapreneur? Vijay Govindrajan and Jatin Desai list out some of the noticeable characteristics in the Harvard Business Review:

 Money is not the Measurement: Intrapreneurs wish to influence and be heard, money is not their primary motivation.

Strategic Scanning: They think one step ahead. They are learners and problem-solvers, and not ones who wait for things to just happen.

Greenhousing: When the seed of an idea gets planted in their minds, intrapreneurs let it grow. They read, research more about it and let it nurture fully before articulating.

Visual Thinking: Intrapreneurs brainstorm, brain-map and visualise ideas, multiple ideas. They are good at divergent thinking.

Pivoting: This is the ability to change strategies and shape ideas according to the changing needs. Intrapreneurs are thus flexible.

Authenticity and Integrity: Intrapeneurs are confident but also self-aware and with a keen sense of purpose.

 A spirit of collaboration, not competition needs to be fostered within organisations where intrapreneurs get nurtured, who one day might become entrepreneurs. Companies are often afraid that such individuals would eventually set up competitive ventures, but in these fears, the benefits that these enterprising people bring to the organisation are often overlooked.

So, are you an intrapreneur? Do you know one? Be one!