Learning from Jugaad Innovation

“Jugaad” is a term popularly used in India. It originated from Sanskrit word yugat later converted as jugat, jugad, and jugaad in modern use. It means having a creative idea or an alternative to solve a problem. The theory originated when people found the need to work around creative solutions due to lack of resources, equipment and money. In the past few years, a jugaad movement has gathered a community of enthusiasts, believing it to be the proof of Indian bubbling creativity, or a cost-effective way to solve the issues of everyday life.

The jugaad movement is also popularly known globally as Frugal innovation or frugal engineering. It is described as a process of reducing the complexity and cost of a good and its production. Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, famously coined the term “frugal engineering” in 2006. He was impressed by Indian engineers’ ability to innovate cost-effectively and quickly under severe resource constraints. And under Ghosn’s leadership , Renault-Nissan has proactively embraced frugal engineering and become one of the world’s leading producers of both electric cars as well as low-cost vehicles — two of the fastest growing and most promising market segments in the global automotive sector.

In now-a-days resource constraint environment, business and entrepreneurs need to come up with innovative solutions that fix problems and bring long lasting results. A quick fix is not the answer, but a way to think and come up with innovative solutions is important. Jugaad as a concept has inspired many business owners and innovators to think “out of the box” and experiment with unconventional solutions for better results.

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