Ref: IMD-7-2173

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2173

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Alfa Bank (Kazakhstan): Digitalizing Through Agile Teams

Benoit F. Leleux

By Professor Benoit F. LeleuxBenoit F. Leleux, Alexander Averbuch, Viacheslav Kostin, Denis Samokhvalov and Taku Yokoyama

Alfa Group for a long time was named as one of the leading private banking groups in Russia and CIS countries with successful and continuous business growth. Alfa-Bank (Kazakhstan), a subsidiary of the group operating in Kazakhstan, had been focused on corporate clients in previous years and was reasonably good in that. However, that segment didn’t support the expected growth rates. Hence the bank made the decision to diversify its business by developing Small and Medium Enterprises segment (SME), as well as retail markets, which required revision of its current business model and introduction of innovative practices. To execute the initiative agile, principles were implemented, organizational structures and processes were changed in line with the intrapreneurial framework. Nowadays agile teams are actively engaged in developing innovative digital products and services, which resulted in significant growth dynamics in target segments (SME clients: from 9 to more than 45 thousand and Retail clients: from 359 to more than 581 thousand). The journey was not easy, and the case describes many issues that arose during the implementation phase, as well as doubts regarding the sustainability and efficiency of the intrapreneurial framework in future. Following the 3 years of intensive development and initial successful results, the intrapreneurship initiative was clearly on the crossroads. The key question addressed in this case is whether Alfa-Bank (Kazakhstan) should continue to develop the intrapreneurship framework, and if so, what are the next steps to be taken by protagonists to develop the bank into a truly intrapreneurship organization, with efficient agile-based innovation framework, contributing to the bank’s profitability.

Learning Objective

  1. How to make changes in business when the current situation looks good and nobody in organization feels a necessity of change
  2. What is the efficient way to establish and manage intrapreneurship framework within a traditional organization
  3. How performance management systems and approach to incentives can support intrapreneurial framework in traditional organizations
Keywords Bank
Settings Central Asia, Kazakhstan
Type Field Research
Copyright ©IMD 2021
Language English
Related material Teaching note, Video
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Reference: IMD-7-2173

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