Centre for India & Global Business


  Frugal Innovation

Frugal Innovation

How to do more with less

Navi Radjou & Jaideep Prabhu
published by The Economist, February 2015

Frugal innovation is a way that companies can create high-quality products with limited resources. Once the preserve of firms in poor markets, Western companies are now seeking ways to appeal to cost-conscious and environmentally aware consumers at home. With an estimated trillion-dollar global market for frugal products, and with potentially huge cost savings to be gained, frugal innovation is revolutionising business and reshaping management thinking.

This groundbreaking book explains the principles, perspectives and techniques behind frugal innovation, enabling managers to profit from the great changes ahead.

"Frugal Innovation offers valuable insights for business leaders everywhere who are facing a familiar challenge: how to do more with less and generate sustainable value for customers, shareholders and society. To stay relevant in an increasingly digital world, organisations must embrace a frugal approach to innovation in order to increase productivity and agility, create competitive advantage and ultimately fuel growth."

- Pierre Nanterme, Chairman & CEO, Accenture

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  Jugaad Innovation

Jugaad Innovation

Think frugal, be flexible, generate breakthrough growth

Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu & Simone Ahuja
published by Jossey-Bass, April 2012

Jugaad: /jü-’gäd/
Hindi word meaning an innovative fix; an improvised solution born from ingenuity and resourcefulness. Also known as DIY in the US, Gambiarra in Brazil, zizhu chuangxin in China, and Systeme D in France.

Innovation is a major directive at corporations worldwide. But how do you drive innovation and growth as the global business landscape becomes increasingly unpredictable and diverse? Western corporations can no longer just rely on the old formula that sustained innovation and growth for decades: a mix of top-down strategies, expensive R&D projects and rigid, highly structured innovation processes. Jugaad Innovation argues that the West must look to places like India, China, and Africa for a new, bottom-up approach to frugal and flexible innovation.

Building on their deep experience of innovation practices with companies in the US and around the world, the authors articulate how jugaad (a Hindi word meaning an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness), is leading to dramatic growth in emerging markets - and how Western companies can adopt jugaad to succeed in our hypercompetitive world.

Delving into the mindset of jugaad innovators, the authors discuss the six underlying principles and show these principles in action by sharing previously untold stories of resourceful jugaad entrepreneurs and innovators in emerging markets. These include the story of Mansukh Prajapati, an Indian villager who invented an affordable fridge made entirely of clay, and of M-PESA, a service that enables millions of Kenyans to save, spend, and transfer money using their cell phones without having a bank account.

The authors also describe how forward-thinking Western firms like 3M, Apple, Best Buy, Facebook, GE, Google, IBM, and PepsiCo are already applying these principles of jugaad to innovate faster, cheaper and better. From Procter & Gamble's reinvention of its core business model to profitably serve economically marginalised American consumers to Renault-Nissan's focus on designing cars that cost less but deliver more value, the Western firms profiled in the book show how you can win by practicing jugaad.

A groundbreaking book, Jugaad Innovation shows leaders everywhere why the time is right for jugaad to emerge as a powerful business tool in the West - and how to bring the jugaad mindset and practices to their organisations.

"Jugaad Innovation goes farther than conventional business books that chart consumer growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China. It explains how emerging economies are pioneering the art of "frugal engineering", then it provides practical tips on how Western companies – from tech startups to multinational industrial corporations – can likewise do more with less. A provocative and entertaining read for 21st century business leaders."

- Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault-Nissan

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