Case Study

Alfa Bank (Kazakhstan): Digitalizing through agile teams

18 pages
May 2021
Reference: IMD-7-2173

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
  • How to make changes in business when the current situation looks good and nobody in organization feels a necessity of change
  • What is the efficient way to establish and manage intrapreneurship framework within a traditional organization
  • How performance management systems and approach to incentives can support intrapreneurial framework in traditional organizations
Intrapreneurship, Agility, Corporate Culture, Performance Management, Key Performance Indicators, Change Management, Digital Transformation, Decision Making, Demonstration
Finance and Insurance, Banking
September 2014 – November 2018
Field Research
© 2021
Available Languages
Related material
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics