Jugaad Innovation: A Frugal and Flexible Approach to

Jugaad Innovation: A Frugal and Flexible Approach to Innovation for the 21st Century Jugaad is a word often heard in general conversation in India Whether to find ingenious solutions to problems or turn adversity into opportunity Indians swear by it In this seminal book, Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, and Simone Ahuja challenge the very way a traditional organization thinks and acts Leading companies such as Facebook, Future Group, GE, Google, PepsiCo, Philips, Renault Nissan, Siemens, Suzlon, Tata Group, and YES BANK, among others, are already practising jugaad to generate original ideas and pioneer growth In the midst of rising global competition and swelling RD budgets, Jugaad Innovation presents ways to innovate, be flexible, and do with less Peppered with examples of innovative entrepreneurs in emerging markets such as Africa, India, China, and Brazil, Jugaad Innovation illuminates paths to engender breakthrough growth in a complex and resource scarce world Kudos to the amazing jugaad innovators in our country solving unique issues of the country within limitations of resources Before I read this book I had a negative opinion about the word juggad But now I know that jugged is nothing but being innovative Here we need to focuson customer s needs not their desire For example I stay in Mumbai and I always used to hear from my mom how expensive fruits have become They are needs and I decided to something about it I decided to do a jugaad I told some of friends that we could go to nearby Vashi wholesale market and buy fruits in quantity at wholesale rate It Before I read this book I had a negative opinion about the word juggad But now I know that jugged is nothing but being innovative Here we need to focuson customer s needs not their desire For example I stay in Mumbai and I always used to hear from my mom how expensive fruits have become They are needs and I decided to something about it I decided to do a jugaad I told some of friends that we could go to nearby Vashi wholesale market and buy fruits in quantity at wholesale rate It really worked Just imagine how much money we saved every year The key to jugaad is simplicity and of course it should be cheaper As Leonard da Vinci rightly said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication So jugaad innovators are masters of simplicity Jugaad is a word that like Karma and Dharma have no equivalent in English It is understood and practised by the natives It is also followed by others, but is not necessarily seen as Jugaad.If one were to describe Jugaad to English speakers one would use the phrase a quick fix for a complex problem It has come to connote a quick and dirty fix for a complex problem.The authors in the book wish to dispel the myth that a quick fix need not always be a dirty fix They further add the connotati Jugaad is a word that like Karma and Dharma have no equivalent in English It is understood and practised by the natives It is also followed by others, but is not necessarily seen as Jugaad.If one were to describe Jugaad to English speakers one would use the phrase a quick fix for a complex problem It has come to connote a quick and dirty fix for a complex problem.The authors in the book wish to dispel the myth that a quick fix need not always be a dirty fix They further add the connotation of innovation under constrained conditions to Jugaad Given that most of this type of inventions innovation happen in third world countries where all types of resources are constrained, it is a correct conjecture.The authors have come up with six guiding principles of Jugaad 1 Seek Opportunity in adversity2 Dowith less3 Think and act flexibly4 Keep it simple5 Include the margin6 Follow your heartThe authors also point out none of these have been relevant in the R D labs of the large companies As a result most of the output from these labs are over engineered solutions which satisfy the greed of the well to do and do nothing to satisfy the need of the have nots.They suggest that this attitude needs to change given the fact that even the developed countries are facing financial crunches in the last few decades Also the large populace of countries like India and China which are being seen as potential markets by these multi nationals does not consist of customers with deep pockets Instead these are customers who are looking to maximize value for the money they pay out These companies will fail to penetrate these markets unless they adopt and adapt to Jugaad Innovation This does not stop with innovation in products, this policy needs to extend to the after sale service too.The authors go on give a variety of examples from different corners of the world, including India, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Phillipines where people have used their ingenuity to come up with innovations which has benefitted a large underserved populace.At the same time the authors say that the R D labs of the large companies need not be shut down, but need to be supplemented by Jugaad Innovation across the organization The R D department can possibly refine the innovations of these Judgaad innovators to make it appealing to the populace who are ready to pay.Some interesting Jugaad innovations that the authors mention are1 A low cost incubator to keep the newborn babies warm in South India using a 100 watt bulb.2 A low cost fridge made out of clay called mitti cool innovated in Gujarat.3 An SMS based system to respond to cataclysmic events such as hurricanes, earthquakes or epidemic outbreaks This has proved beneficial to many countries where people cannot afford smartphones It has also benefitted the US.One gets the feeling that the authors are suggesting that many of these innovations have come up because of a desire to serve the underserved This seems too much of an altruism to expect from individuals andso from large companies E.g if a GE innovates and comes up with smaller, cheaper equipments in the medical equipment industry, it is not because GE cares for the poor suffering without healthcare, it is only because they feel there is a market to be exploited and that it will swell their coffers.All in all a good read Every business faces challenges that it must overcome in order to be functional and successful To this end, each business structures its organisation and streamlines the internal processes thereby delivering products and services very much sought after by customers in need or otherwise The traditional approach of structured innovation, a top down method, has yielded speldid results thus far There is no reason why it would not in the future, however, with some alterations that enable it to ada Every business faces challenges that it must overcome in order to be functional and successful To this end, each business structures its organisation and streamlines the internal processes thereby delivering products and services very much sought after by customers in need or otherwise The traditional approach of structured innovation, a top down method, has yielded speldid results thus far There is no reason why it would not in the future, however, with some alterations that enable it to adapt to market dynamics that are by nature extremely volatile Enter, Jugaad.The crux of this unique book is something that is imbued into the hearts minds of most people who have had to go through even moderately difficult circumstances or situations However, it is not quite often that one finds a treatise that not only introduces but goes further on to formalise Jugaad or frugal engineering or one of the umpteen names with which it is known and or referred to around the world It is this aspect of the book that is really appealing and is its unique selling point.Content wise, there is an indepth breakdown of the main concept Jugaad with ample examples to highlight the usefullness of each sub concept The decomposition of Jugaad into six sub principles is not just insightful but, coupled with the real life examples in support of these, provide an enriching and compelling reason for any entrepreneur, budding or otherwise, to forge ahead The six chapters that deal with the sub concepts of Jugaad provide a case study each, that is outright inspiring.This is a superbly researched piece of text which can be considered as a formal presentation of a bottom up approach to innovation, that, although could be of disruptive nature, brings about radical changes to innovation thereby allowing businesses to be nimble and successful in both challenging resource constrained environments as well as in general

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