Liberating Leadership, Innovation and Creativity

PRAVIN RAJPAL: Driving innovation through intrapreneurship

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EDUCATION IS THE ROOT AND THE BACKBONE FOR THE PROGRESS OF ANY NATION. I BELIEVE ONCE WE HAVE GONE TO THE ROOTS, CREATED A FERTILE LAND AND NURTURED IT WELL, IT WILL RESULT INTO A STRONG TREE WITH MANY FRUITS.”

Pravin Rajpal and his team at InnovatioNext, India, are leading the way in fostering technology-driven intrapreneurship in the next generation. As well as being a respected thoughtleader and champion of innovation in his own right, Pravin has successfully brought the notion of collaboration and intrapreneurship into the spotlight through his cutting-edge programs and tailored solutions for a range of industries.

Most notably is his recent development of integrated innovation Centres of Excellence within universities and corporates in India. At last count, 21 Centres have been set up, with many more on the horizon, and the results are extraordinary. They have seen up to 100 per cent employment rates in participating universities, unprecedented business growth in collaborating companies and rise in patents across the board. His movement has sparked a global interest in intrapreneurship – and this is just the beginning.

“Education is the root and the backbone for the progress of any nation. I believe once we have gone to the roots, created a fertile land and nurtured it well, it will result into a strong tree with many fruits. By bringing these changes into the mindset of the students, we are developing a very strong culture and large-scale innovation capacities focused on the faster growth of businesses, industry, government and education,” Pravin said.

“I believe that the pressure on the human mind to create and innovate new products is more intense than ever before. The world has changed and organisations seek to grow exponentially. That is why we set out to empower minds with the most advanced ideation tools, technology apps, ready to use mind maps, innovation health assessment software and more to develop the next generation intrapreneur who can help build high impact businesses for the new world of the fourth industrial revolution.”

The Centres are based on industryacademia collaboration methodology, where students select the industry they are passionate about and work through specially-designed internships over four years. They can focus on the critical challenges faced by the organisation they are working within and discover innovative solutions for business growth. Students are trained to understand the specific needs within the corporate arena and the key problems faced in the areas of operations, business, resources, customers and future needs. They are offered holistic and multi-dime nsional exposure to intrapreneurship strategies so they can glean a greater understanding of the innovation ecosystem and how to create faster growth and / or productivity in industry, government and society sectors.

“Any big change has to come from within. A forced change can never become successful. We therefore ignited the torch of innovation to ignite passions, minds and a spirit of innovation. The torch of innovation is passed on by us to the professors, from the professors to the students and from the students to the industry,” Pravin said.

“Our new model has democratised the intrapreneurship movement, because universities and industry have realised that the concepts of the students can only become great when the ideas in early business/product stages are supported with management experience, financial support and marketing infrastructure of the industry.” Intrapreneurship has become a critical component of any business due to the speed at which competition and innovation is now forced to move. By training and then harnessing a new wave of thought leaders, coupled with the driving force of technological advancement, there is mass potential for unrivalled growth within companies large and small.

“Organizations looking to grow and innovate at a faster pace, need to harness the ideas of their intrapreneurs. With the age of open innovation, collaboration assumes great importance. R&D is replaced by C&D (Connect and
Develop) everywhere.”

INTRAPRENEURS BRING IN TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS, NEW BUSINESS IDEAS, MARKET GROWTH IDEAS AND NEW SOLUTIONS FOR THE ORGANIZATIONS.”

“Intrapreneurs bring in technology solutions, new business ideas, market growth ideas and new solutions for the organizations. An organization can truly embark on the exponential growth journey with a culture of intrapreneurship.”

For the businesses involved, there are many benefits. By encouraging passionate, committed students to drive innovative programs and solve problems, people-power, money, risk and time investments can be reduced.

InnovatioNext’s centres have received incredible support from large companies across India, including the country’s number one bank, HDFC Bank. They have partnered with the Centres to develop Fin-tech innovations and agreed to fund mentoring opportunities for students. Top conglomerates TATA Group and Aditya Birla Group are also on board, offering their challenges for innovation projects and mentoring. In addition, the Centres have worked with names such as Samsung, Dell, Amazon, Ford Motors and Citibank.

Another brilliant aspect of InnovatioNext’s programs is that innovation is not just enabled, but talent and need is fully utilised through ‘Industry Connect’. Pravin noted that many intrapreneurs in the past were unable to successfully connect with appropriate companies, and likewise business owners looking to broaden their innovation were hard-pressed to discover the right people to help.

“We make sure that the ideas of students are brought to light for scaleup by connecting them with the relevant industries. We help the students to market their ideas through our vast industry network of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) as we are their innovation knowledge partners. CII has more than 10000 industry members,” he said.

They also work the other way, connecting companies with specific challenges with students who can solve them. The Corporate Challenge Connect app cleverly utilised technology to quickly and easily link up business needs and innovators for mutual benefit.

“This ensures that each student works on the innovation projects of the leading companies and strives to resolve their challenges. They can directly post their ideas and even win many rewards, including monetary. We therefore create an eco-system where the innovation seekers meet the innovation providers at various universities,” Pravin explained.

“We also provide the career links of the top MNCs (Multinational Corporations) and most innovative companies looking for ideas, solutions, creative talent and innovations from the students. After developing their concepts, the students can directly connect with these organizations to share their ideas for excellent career opportunities. This helps in bridging the big talent and ideas gap which the top companies are looking for.”

With a rapidly changing world, Pravin believes embracing technology and intrapreneurship is the only way forward.

Technologies are disrupting traditional business models. Digitization, e-commerce, apps and unconventional approaches have resulted in the closure of many businesses. Only 52 per cent of the companies which appeared in the Fortune 500 listing in the year 2000 exist today. Intrapreneurship can help organizations to survive, sustain and grow in the future.”

“The face of intrapreneurship is emerging as the next mega trend for the innovationdriven growth economy.”

Find out more about Pravin Rajpal’s work:
www.innovationext.in
www.pravinrajpal.com
www.youtube.com/watch?v=y
GuQNzEjvXs&feature=youtu.be