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  • On how Eisa’s intrapreneur ‘HeLpy’ is ‘happy’
  • by Eo, Yun-Ho | translator Byun Kyung A | Feb 27, 2020 06:35am
App developer Ahn Woo-seok, Sung Jong-seok and Kim Ah-reum
Started as a salesperson’s creative idea developed into a working app managing medication and personal health
Officially selected as company-supported project from Innovation Academy
Lately, companies emphasize a notion of internal entrepreneurship, also known as ‘intrapreneurship.’ For companies, innovation is not an option anymore. And this is the time when intrapreneurship becomes the source of internal innovation.

So these days, ‘internal venture’ is popular among companies. Without massive investment, an internal venture can be incorporated with existing business, and also it could leave an impression of innovative and young brand image.

Pharmaceutical industry recently had an impressive case of intrapreneurship. It is Eisai Korea’s ‘HeLpy’ team. Based on the management philosophy of ‘Human Health Care (HHC),’ all employees of Eisai around the world spend 1 percent of their working time every year to engage with patients looking for their issues and find an adequate solution.

And Eisai has formed ‘Innovation’ team from 2016 to support intrapreneurs, who could actualize the solution proposed by Eisai Korea’s employees trying to create meaningful value for the community and the company,

 ▲ Senior Manager Sung Jong-seok, Deputy Director Kim Ah-reum and Senior Manager Ahn Woo-seok
Started as a part of the corporate culture, HeLpy started with Senior Manager Ahn Woo-seok and Senior Manager Sung Jong-seok from the Sales developing a health management app after completing the second Innovation Academy. And recently the team added a new member, Deputy Director Kim Ah-reum, who has experience in app management. From then on, the HeLpy team became a small but fully fledged intraprenuer.

Senior Manager Ahn Woo-seok said, “As I work at a pharmaceutical company, my father asked me often about his medication. Soon I realized drug information is searchable on portal websites but it was inconvenient to save them. I liked the idea that maybe I could improve it, so I applied for the Innovation Academy.”

A Smartphone app, HeLpy, helps individuals to easily manage their medications by taking a photo of their dispensed drug packaging and prescription. Besides the basic medication management, the app also provides various functions for infants and toddler care, such as vaccine notification and baby growth percentile chart. And the users can also check their bio-age and health risk based on their medical check-up records accessible with one-off personal authentification.

Launching an app with only a few developers was probably not the simplest task. Before the company decided to officially select the team’s project, HeLpy team members had to use their spare time to work on it.

Senior Manager Sung Jong-seok smiled and reminisced, “Everyone trying to schedule spare time to work on the project was quite challenging as we each had our own business to tend. Regardless of whose fault it was, we had to walk on eggshells at the work. Although we had some hiccups, Ahn held us together tight to push on with the project.”

Senior Manager Ahn explained, “Rather than ‘content with conviction,’ I’m perceived more as ‘stubborn.’ Continuing with the story, intrapreneurship has its perks. Although scheduling is difficult, intrapreneurship has irresistible advantage of requesting for company’s support and having comparatively less risk in failure than generic ventures struggling to find investors.”

Deputy Director Kim Ah-reum joining the team late in the game actually expedited HeLpy’s launch. Certified as nutritionist and experienced in health management in previous company and National Cancer Center, Kim was the missing link for the team to finally meet the unmet needs.

Deputy Director Kim said, “During my first year at the company, I was still concerned of adapting into the company well. But with two senior managers’ help, I was able to settle down soon. I focused on areas I could assist, like medical check-up data follow-up. I’m exhilarated that I can be a part of HeLpy’s launch.”

HeLpy is just taking a baby step, now. The team is already in process of inking a partnership deal with a large insurance company, and also it is setting up marketing strategy with a marketing agency. The app’s download count has surpassed 125,000 recently, and 48,000 members have subscribed.

HeLpy team commented, “We are still learning and figuring things out. We are shooting for 190,000 download count and 70,000 memberships in March by focusing on marketing. We want to become the success case of Eisai’s Innovation Project. We are happy doing what we like with the company’s support.”
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