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What is Intrapreneur? Difference between Entrepreneur & Intrapreneur


American concept of Intrapreneur

The team intrapreneur had its origin in U.S.A. Gifford Pinchot III, an American management expert wrote his famous book, “Intrapreneuring” in 1983. He coined the word intrapreneur. According to him the term Intrapreneur is used to describe a person who resigned his well paid executive job to start his own venture.

These persons had to leave their executive positions due to frustration caused by stagnation or unwillingness of the management to allow the executive to take initiative or implement innovation. This intrapreneurship resulted in brain drain However, this brain drain is not confined to U.S.A. alone. It is world-wide phenomenon. Why go so far even our own country is full of so many examples? Mr. B.S. Narayan an Electronics Engineer was employed with Bharat Electronics Limited (B.E.L.). After serving B.E.L., for 9 years he resigned his secured job to enter into a risky business. He got an opportunity to attend an Entrepreneurship Development Programme (E.D.P.) which gave him courage and confidence to start has enterprise ‘Excel Par Electronics.’ He innovated the idea of manufacturing special oil filled pulse transformers and chokes.

Such example can be multiplied. Intrapreneurs are not influenced by monetary rewards but by their desire to achieve something new for which they are not given ample opportunities at their old place of work.

To check this tendency of brain drain Gifford Pinchot III suggested that the corporate sector should strive to make use of the entrepreneurial talents of their executives within the organization by providing them enough opportunities to innovate and imitate new ideas. They should not penalize them even if they fail in their mission. On the contrary they should reward them.

Difference between an Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur

There are the following points of distinction between the entrepreneur and intrapreneur:

S. N.






An entrepreneur generally has no previous experience. He starts afresh.

An intrapreneur has some experience as an executive in and enterprise. He switches over as an entrepreneur at a later stage.


Professional Qualification

An entrepreneur generally may not have any professional qualification.

An intrapreneur is basically a professional turned entrepreneur.



An entrepreneur does not cause brain-drain.

An intrapreneur causes brain-drain.


Remedial action

No remedial action is needed.

Remedial action is necessary to check brain-drain. Steps have to be taken to retain the executive in the organization rather than allow him to go out.

Qualities of Creative Entrepreneur

The research studies conducted by Lower field and Guilford identified following eight key characteristics of creative persons :

  1. Sensitivity:

    The creative individual is sensitive to problems, needs attitudes and feelings of others. He has an acute awareness anything odd, unusual or promising in the person, material, or situation with which he is dealing.

  2. Fluency:

    This refers to the ability to take continuous advantage of a developing situation-to use each compiled step as a new advantage point from which to assess the problem and move on.

  3. Flexibility:

    People with high creative ability adjust quickly to new developments and changed situations. Unforeseen obstacles in a problem solving situation are often used to advantage by the creative person.

  4. Originality:

    This refers to uncommonness of an individual’s responses to problematic situations and number and diversity of solutions given.

  5. Redefinitional Skill:

    They have unusual ability to rearrange ideas, concepts, people and thing-to shift function of objects and use them in new ways.

  6. Ability of Abstract:

    It refers to the ability in analyzing a project component, i.e., getting details from the whole.

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