Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, in Amazon’s 2018 year-end financial addressed to all the stakeholders, clearly stated that “One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent.” Adding more to his address, he said, “people have a voracious appetite for a better way, and yesterday’s ‘wow’ quickly becomes today’s ‘ordinary’. I see that cycle of improvement happening at a faster rate than ever before.” Bezos further identifies three major company principles that drive Amazon to be both innovative and intrapreneurial in their approach to growth. These three factors are:

  • Maintaining a constant high standard
  • Ensuring a fine balance between realism and expectations 
  • Fostering new skills

The above-mentioned work principles are at the core of Amazon’s corporate entrepreneurship. Every market initiatives, products and services launched from the Amazon stable bears this sense of great value and trust derived from the corporate spirit of promoting in-house entrepreneurs.

Amazon Case Study - Let’s take a look at the case study on Amazon’s Drone Deliveries.The brainchild behind this whole new delivery mechanism was Daniel Buchmueller, the co-founder of Amazon Prime Air. An engineering evangelist with multiple patents, Daniel spearheaded the drone project leveraging Amazon’s resources to develop this drone delivery concept. To facilitate speedy prime deliveries, Amazon started testing the drone for deliveries way back in 2013. 

After a lot of research and back-end work, the company finally filed its petition for FAA approvals in 2019. The basis for such innovation was to make the deliveries seamless and speedy for prime customers staying in outskirts and areas with low population density. It was in August 2020 last year that the company received its Federal approval to establish a drone delivery fleet. 

Top Ways in Which Companies Benefit From Intrapreneurship 

From the above case study, it can be safely concluded that survival and success depend on how well an organization adapts to the changing dynamics of the market. Here are the top ways in which companies greatly benefit from intrapreneurship.

  • Improve Employee Performance - By fostering an environment for research and innovation; organizations can generate an environment wherein each employee seeks to learn and upskill. This is not only value-creating for the organization but also the employees. Learning further kindles innovative ideas and out-of-box solutions that can transform day to day operations thereby, positively impacting both the top line and the bottom line. 
  • Ensure Steady Flow of Innovative Ideas - Without innovation, there is stagnation. The earliest search engine AltaVista is no longer existing. On the other hand, Google has survived the onslaught of time ushering in changes from time to time. Google as an organization is known for its intrapreneurial environment and this has enabled it to survive the test of time.
  • Secure Sustainability Factor for Long-Term - For businesses to thrive in dynamic and ever-changing market conditions, it is super critical to look at the larger picture and plan for sustaining the entire decade rather than just focussing on the revenues of the upcoming quarter. Operating in one's proven zone can no longer sustain unless an organization diversifies into multiple offerings. The entire year of 2020, ravaged by COVID pandemic, can testify to this. The key is to foster innovators within the organization and give them the environment where they can operate out-of-the-box. 

With market competition intensifying every moment and shifting customer priorities, how can an enterprise create an environment that enables innovators and entrepreneurs to continue to research and create? 

Here are some of the best ways that can be adopted by enterprises to foster in-house entrepreneurs.

  • Honouring innovative efforts and proactive behaviour 
  • Engaging employees in the decision-making process treating them as stakeholders
  • Facilitating enrolment in courses such as SURGE 

One might wonder how opting for an academic course like SURGE (Successful Renewal in Growing Enterprises) strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit within an organization. It is important to consider that SURGE is a corporate entrepreneurship programme developed by IIM Calcutta and IIM Calcutta Innovation Park .This programme establishes a deep connection between individual entrepreneurship and one's role within an organizational setup. Those enrolling for the course get a first-hand understanding of how an entrepreneur can generate a new business case whilst working within the scope of his role. Furthermore, entrepreneurs get all the access to toolkits required to drive entrepreneurial endeavours within the organization. So, encouraging managers and employees to enrol for this course and support them while they are pursuing it can be the greatest game-changer for an organization.