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Life as an ideapreneur

Every employee at HCL Technologies is empowered for grass-roots, business-driven and customer-focused innovation. The ecosystem at the organization is very employee-friendly. We engage, enable and empower our employees and provide them the license to ideate. This unique culture at HCL is referred, believed and celebrated as ideapreneurship. This is brought alive via structured programs such as:

1. Value Portal

The Value Portal is an HCL initiative that has been designed to encourage, facilitate, manage, record and share customer-focused innovations. The basic concept took shape when we realized that within day-to-day deliveries, teams were innovating and sharing suggestions with customers, which were being extensively appreciated.

To capture our employees’ ideas in a structured manner, we built an application called the Value Portal. HCLites post their ideas on the portal to get them reviewed and approved by senior HCL leaders, and showcase these ideas to the customer, once they are approved. Proposed ideas are adopted by customers if they feel convinced about the idea, which is how value of the idea is recognized and delivered. We call this complete end-to-end employee-driven customer-centric innovation the ‘grassroots ideas revolution within HCL.’

Today, we engage with 12,000 employees through the Value Portal, and have so far generated over 28,000 innovative ideas for 300+ customers on process improvement, cycle-time reduction, tool development, technical solutions, and cost optimization. Over 3,000 of these ideas have been approved by customers and implemented by HCL, to deliver value to customers. These ideas didn’t just deliver one-time value to clients; they have become a part of HCL’s overall solution set with limitless potential to add value every time they were used for other projects and clients.

 The Value Portal is a real example of ideapreneurship™ at work; leveraging collective ideas of thousands of ideapreneurs to deliver value to customers, beyond the contract.

2. LeadGen

Lead Gen is a program designed to service untapped customer demands/ requests through delivery employees who directly interface with customers. The insight behind this is that in an IT Services company delivery executives usually outnumber sales employees 1:100. Employees use the Lead Gen site hosted on the company Intranet to log in any information that they think will lead to a servicing a customer demand faster at the same time creating a business opportunity for HCL. An employee lead is defined as the “knowledge of a business pain point, or a customer requirement, which can be addressed by HCL’s portfolio of IT Services.” The employee capturing the lead will be eligible for a reward if the lead results in a successful deal closure.

These programs had a direct co-relation with meaningful business outcomes, and therefore, formed an Innovation ecosystem that is self-supported. It all started from our values, which led to desired behaviors, and an increase in participation in the programs that led to meaningful business outcomes. Hence, our values led to behavior patterns that leverage programs to deliver successful outcomes in a virtuous cycle, making HCL as one of the world’s largest ideapreneurship™.

3. Good Practice Conference

The good practice conference Is a it is a strong platform to demonstrate the power of our ideapreneurship culture and ensure institutionalization across of practices. Essentially this conference, encourages contribution towards business improvement for HCL and enables employees from all across the Company to put forth their suggestions, in the form of discussion papers. The shortlisted ideas are shared in an annual conference and the contributors are recognized . All selected Good Practices are then published in the Conference e-book, hosted in Practices where over 2000 Good Practices are accessible to everyone across HCL.


The crowning event in HCL that celebrates the most outstanding ideas from all HCLites, MAD JAM, or the Make A Difference Jamboree, is driven by the vibrant ideas-led culture at HCL—the culture of ideapreneurship™, where ideas are seeded, nurtured, and harvested; and every employee is an idea-led entrepreneur intrapreneur, an ideapreneur.

At HCL, we empower and encourage individual employees at all levels of the organization to come up with innovative solutions to operational and customer challenges. The resulting employee behavior is channeled through and leveraged by formal programs such as MAD JAM.

MAD JAM is a centralized platform for celebrating business-centric implemented ideas and innovation of employees from across the organization. It provides employees with a platform to share their best ideas for innovation and transformation.  A jury of senior delivery managers shortlist the best ideas, which are turned into videos and hosted on the HCL Intranet and on YouTube, and employees vote for their favorite entries.

Till now, MAD JAM has helped many outstanding innovators launch their ideas and be acknowledged as the best-of-the-breed at HCL. We engaged with more than 50,000 HCLites through the MAD JAM portal; 1,500 innovators sent in 647 ideas; 36 of the best ideas were turned into short films; and finally, 16 ideas made it to the grand finale in MAD JAM 2011 and 2012.

MAD JAM 2013 helped ideapreneurs take their ideas to the next level—convert them from concept to reality with the help of MAD VC fund of USD 250,000. The funding is available not only for the winning ideas, but the ones which have the potential to scale-up and create a big business impact for HCL.

MAD JAM 2014 saw the more than 450 ideas being generated. The platform also picked up scale and interest within the organization with over 30,000 votes pouring in for the finalists. What the 2014 edition also brought forth was the potential for ideapreneurs to collaborate- with 2 ideas being merged into one in order to create a joint service proposition.

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