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Retail Intrapreneurship: Purpose, Structure & Challenges

Instructor: Ashutosh Juneja

Ashutosh has over 18 yrs of exp. in managing business & IT teams. He holds a Bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering and a Masters degree in Information Systems.

In this lesson, you will get familiar with the concept of intrapreneurship in retail organizations. You will also learn how these organizations are embracing intrapreneurship to promote creativity and innovation.

Retail Intrapreneurship

Retail intrapreneurs are employees of a company who are assigned special projects that can include creating a new market or process. They work as entrepreneurs but don't bear the risk involved in their activities. The retail segment is very competitive, so retail organizations are embracing intrapreneurship at the workplace to bring up smart and innovative ideas. Retail intrapreneurs are usually backed by companies who have good cash flow and are ready to take the risk of achieving creative and out-of-the-box ideas.

Why Retail Intrapreneurship

In smaller organizations or even startups, employees work in small teams that follow agile principles that lead to faster delivery of products. They usually are highly motivated, innovative, work with greater autonomy, have more decision-making authority, and have limited funding options. So they really have to act fast in order to be successful. On the other hand, employees in a large organization are more process-oriented and resistant to change the way the things are done. In order to be competitive, management in large organizations is looking for intrapreneurs within their teams who can think out-of-the-box and provide innovative ideas.

Purpose of Retail Intrapreneurship

Retail organizations are encouraging their employees to be innovative and creative at work to stay ahead of the competition. They conduct conferences and workshops to teach them important intrapreneur skills. The purposes behind retail intrapreneurship are:

To Understand the Customer

It is important to know the customer's needs, buying behavior and buying power. An intrapreneur conducts surveys and promotions to gather information and perform analysis about what customers want.

To Create New Products

Intrapreneurs are highly motivated and talented individuals who want to create something new which doesn't exist currently. They either want to solve an existing problem or add value to an existing product.

To Design the Right Products

Understanding the customer's likes and dislikes about a product or a service helps an intrapreneur design the right products which creates value and demand.

Structure of Retail Intrapreneurship

Retailing can be said to be the interface between the producer and the individual consumer buying for personal consumption. Traditional retail businesses usually follow a pyramid structure, where the decision making of products and services lies with the top executives. The execution is generally done by people in the bottom hierarchy of the pyramid who have no control in the decision-making process. This type of structure lacks creativity and innovative ideas.

In modern retail businesses, who follow a flat structure, the decision making lies in the hands of creative people (intrapreneurs) who are also involved in implementing the final product. They develop a vision for any product and work together with the team to achieve that goal.

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