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HRM / OB Case Study

Case Title:

N. Chandrasekaran@TCS: Leadership with Intrapreneurship

Publication Year : 2009

Authors: Vandana Jayakumar under the guidance Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary

Industry: Services


Case Code: HRM0054

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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In 2009, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the Indian IT giant, under the newly appointed CEO and managing director, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, disaggregated the colossal TCS into 23 smaller business units. Each unit was to have its own CEO, CFO and an HR head and was to run as an independent company under the TCS banner. What TCS has attempted is corporate entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship. While entrepreneurship is widely known, intrapreneurship is its lesser known cousin. The case study delves deep into the concept of intrapreneurship and provides an opportunity to understand the concept. There are examples of successful intrapreneurial ventures from across the globe – the Post-It Notes, Sony PlayStations, Java Programming Language and HCL Comnet to name a few.

While intrapreneurship has blossomed at several organisations, there have been instances when people have left their jobs at large organisations to start their own entrepreneurial ventures that proved to be successful. One is made to wonder if the organisations would have gained from these ventures had they been nurtured in-house. What is the significance of intrapreneurship for organisations? Considering the case of TCS, the intrapreneurial move is debatable as TCS for long has been a managerial organisation and not an entrepreneurial one. Was it the right time for TCS to go intrapreneurial? When should an organisation nurture intrapreneurship and for how long the venture should be fostered before being spun-off as a separate business entity?

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To develop an overview and an understanding of the concept of intrapreneurship and analyse the similarities and dissimilarities between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship
  • To debate and discuss on when does it make sense for any company to encourage, initiate and nurture intrapreneurship ventures
  • To analyse and critically evaluate intrapreneurship initiatives at TCS
  • To examine and explore the critical success factors and the required capabilities for an effective intrapreneurial culture (Role of leadership).

Keywords : Intrapreneurship, Corporate Entrepreneurship, TCS, Tata Concultancy Services, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, N Chandrasekaran, Leadership, S Ramdorai, Gateways to Intrapreneurship, Barriers to Intrapreneurship, Feasibility of Intrapreneurship, Intrapreneuring, Gifford Pinchot


  • Intrapreneurship – The Business Logic
  • Top 10 Gateways to Intrapreneurship
  • An Interactive Model of Corporate Entrepreneuring
  • TCS: Practicing Intrapreneurship?
  • Chandraskeran's Journey in TCS

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