Vodafone cv

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    Marketing
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    Masters
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8VODAFONE CORPORATE VENTURE

Vodafone Corporate Venture

Vodafone Corporate Venture

Intrapreneurship can be termed as the act of performing as an entrepreneur while operating a large organisation (Rainone, 2013). It is the practice of corporate venturing that incorporates risk-taking, innovation, reward and motivational methods though as being the jurisdiction of entrepreneurship. Organisations that have intrapreneurial capabilities are both enjoyable and profitable (Rainone, 2013). An example of an organisation that has intrapreneurial capabilities is Vodafone. Vodafone Group is a multinational company located in London and is the largest telecommunication company by revenue. The company operates in more than 26 countries (Vodafone, 2015). Corporate Venture in Vodafone has enabled the company acquire knowledge and agility over the years that has led to its success. The company is always striving to look for ways to improve and develop new innovative initiatives in order to boost its competitive edge (Vodafone, 2015). This paper will detail out why Vodafone Group Company is considered interpreneurial and will also highlight mode of Corporate Venturing in the company.

Intrapreneurial companies have the willingness and ability to take risk. Vodafone is an example of an organisation that takes calculated risk often than not and plunge into potential markets (Thomas, 2013). For instance, the company has generated most innovative products over the years. The company has internationalized its operation to other markets such as Egypt, Europe, Brazil and United States to name a few (Hultens and Bengt, 2000). The internationalization process of the company coupled with mergers and acquisition with other companies can be considered a risk that has enabled the company succeed and grow (Hultens and Bengt, 2000). The company also takes risk in funding for employees’ programs and innovative ideas that sometimes may end up failing. It is said that intrapreneurial companies do not consider money as their measurement. Although these companies respect the value brought about by money, they focus their attention on economic drivers required in order to succeed (Hultens and Bengt, 2000). Vodafone Group Company does its work in a manner that portrays innovation and creativity as the driver to success. Although money is important to the company, Vodafone truly appreciate innovativeness among the employees which they put first before anything else (Hultens and Bengt, 2000). And in return, in doing so, huge returns are obtained.

The Innovative organisations endeavour to search for future intrapreneurs (Thomas, 2005). Such feature is possessed by companies regarded as innovative and intrapreneurial. Every member has innovative expression that waits to be expressed (Thomas, 2005). Vodafone fan the flames of such innovativeness despite the challenges that may arise. For instance, Vodafone has come up with ways of cultivating, incubating as well as elevating a group of intrapreneurs (Thomas, 2005). Vodafone’s Innovation Champions is a program of the company that is aimed at creating a creative and innovative team that will boost the company’s competitive advantage.

In addition, the management in the Vodafone give some amount of freedom to the employees to pursue their own projects (Webster, 2011). For instance, one example of a successful intrapreneurship in Vodafone Group is the development of M-Pesa program that was created by two employees who used their free time and resources provided by the company to create innovative program (Webster, 2011). The program offer financial services through the mobile phone and is considered a phone-based development initiatives that serves millions of people in Kenya. The program also assists customers who do not own a bank account to deposit or withdraw money via their mobile phones. In addition, Vodafone announced the development of Vodafone Mobile Wallet venture that enables Vodafone customers buy goods using their mobile phones (Webster, 2011). This shows how the company encourages socially minded, employee-driven creativity concepts and brings these concepts to life via corporate resources.

Another reason why Vodafone is considered interpreneurial is due to the innovative and creative culture of the organisation (Hisrich, Michael and Dean, 2005). Creative ideas often thrive and grow in an environment with enough intellectual space. Creative experimentation environment is found in Vodafone and the organisations offer some degree of directions, control and support towards innovativeness aiming to enhance profitability (Hisrich, Michael and Dean, 2005). Not all ideas of the company have become viable and successful. But Vodafone permits risks and are always aware of the potential for failure of some projects. Organisational culture of Vodafone encourages leadership that listen to the employees. Management does not ignore the ideas of the employees (Hisrich, Michael and Dean, 2005). This has drove creativity and innovation in the company which has coalesce into new products.

There is a huge difference between a typical organisation operation and interpreneurial operation in terms of hierarchical power structure (Thomas, 2005). Interpreneurial Company has a flatter structure. In Vodafone Group Company, the corporate pyramid allows a flatter corporate structure that encourages networking, idea sharing and teamwork (Hultens and Bengt, 2000). The structure of the company puts a great emphasis on individual creativity, risk taking and avoiding failure. The company’s hierarchical structure exists to ensure the success of an organisation through breaking rules and inevitably enduring some market challenges (Hultens and Bengt, 2000). Vodafone cuts through corporate “obstacles” by bringing out creative ideas of the employees within the organisational culture.

Other examples of Vodafone Corporate Venture involve innovation events. The Vodafone Enterprise Innovation events tend to connect different experts and professional from social enterprise, governments and large organisations around the world (Hultens and Bengt, 2000). Past events have included social impact innovation, future of transport among others. Vodafone has provided these events for movers and shakers who come together to share ideas and build a strong network. In addition, Vodafone has invested in Xone Accelarator Program that represents a corporate venture (Hultens and Bengt, 2000). The program has created a win-win situation for the company, the community as well as the start-ups who sign up for it. By offering start-ups with the access to management support, resources and mentoring, Vodafone has scaled up at a faster rate (Vodafone, 2015). The company has invested in start-ups in wireless and internet sectors. The company has invested more than $15 million in portfolio organisations. Basically, start-ups in Vodafone have access to financial resources, mentorship and marketing.

Xone Accelarator Program has been established in Egypt where success stories have been witnessed. Vodafone xone is led by Mohammed Al-Ayouti (Webster, 2011). The leader of the program is considered interpreneur since he encourages the creation of ecosystem that enhances start-ups (Webster, 2011). Vodafone xone entails a corporate venture capital unit, ecosystem support unit as well as beta labs. Vodafone xone offer hand-on support to employees through product design, technology and financial and legal supports (Webster, 2011). The ventures concept of the program has so far made about five investments.

Vodafone is regarded as an organisation that thinks outside the box coming up with ideas that have the potential to change strategic direction (Hultens and Bengt, 2000). All the employees in the company are prepared for any changes that may take place in the business. The company has designed a 3-year corporate program that is intended to turn its managers into intraprenuers who would take the company into high levels (Vodafone, 2015). In addition, Vodafone has made a lot of profit from new services and new business models that are appreciated by the customers. Their shift in mind-set has brought about promising rewards in terms of growth and profit making (Vodafone, 2015). Corporate venturing has enabled the company to achieve competitive advantage.

Another way that Vodafone Company takes part in corporate venturing is in the creation of new business unit related to the application of network technologies to healthcare (mHealth) (Webster, 2011). The company has taken part in mHealth from humanitarian perspective. The mHealth program was developed by the Vodafone Group Foundation which supports the program through research and development of healthcare solutions. The company has partnered with other mHealth companies such as Medopad and Numera (Webster, 2011). Vodaphone Foundation supports charitable programs that utilize technology. The foundation is aimed at supporting technological projects that have some benefits towards the vulnerable (Webster, 2011). Through this program, intrapreneurs are recognized, supported and mentored by the company.

Vodafone Ventures have been adapted by the company as the corporate venture capital arm which is operated from Vodafone xone office but has a global reach (Rainone, 2013). The Vodafone Ventures allocate funds from mobile investments in union with top-tier corporate venture companies. Vodafone xone hubs are located in a number of cities across the world that assists in funding for early-stage technology start-ups and acts as research bases (Rainone, 2013). Applications that are being developed in these hubs include findxone which is able to track individual belongings and drivexone which connects cars to personal smartphones.

In conclusion, Vodafone Group Company is considered an intrapreneurial business. There are many features that lead to this conclusion. For instance, Vodafone is a risk-taking company and always strive to develop innovative products and services through their employees. They do so by offering some level of freedom for the employees to engage in their own projects. Corporate ventures undertaken by the company include Vodafone xone among other.

References

Hisrich, R., Michael, P & Dean, S 2005, Corporate Versus Intrapreneurial Culture,  New York, McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Hultens, S and Bengt, M 2000, «Entrepreneurs, Innovations and Market Processes in the Evolution of the Swedish Mobile Telecommunications Industry«. Retrieved 9 September 2013

Rainone, M 2013, How to Build an Intrapreneurial Organization. Product Design and Development. Retrieved 21st April from http://www.pddnet.com/blog/2013/07/how-build-intrapreneurial-organization

Thomas, N 2005, Create an Intrapreneurial Culture. The mindful network. Retrieved 21st April from http://www.refresher.com/mindfulnetwork/articlelive/articles/55/1/Create-an-Intrapreneurial-Culture/Page1.html

Vodafone 2015. «Annual Report 2015», Vodafone Group Plc. Retrieved 21st April 2016
http://www.vodafone.com/content/index/investors/investor_information/annual_report.html

Webster, S 28 January 2011, Vodafone confirms role in Egypt’s cellular, Internet blackout. Rawstory. Retrieved 21st April 2016
http://www.rawstory.com/2011/01/vodafone-confirms-role-egypts-cellular-internet-blackout/