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Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth

ISBN: 978-1-118-24974-1
288 pages
April 2012, Jossey-Bass
Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth (1118249747) cover image

"Jugaad Innovation is the most comprehensive book yet to appear on the subject [of frugal innovation]."
The Economist

A frugal and flexible approach to innovation for the 21st century

Innovation is a key directive at companies worldwide. But in these tough times, we can't rely on the old formula that has sustained innovation efforts for decades—expensive R&D projects and highly-structured innovation processes. Jugaad Innovation argues the West must look to places like India, Brazil, and China for a new approach to frugal and flexible innovation. The authors show how in these emerging markets, jugaad (a Hindi word meaning an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness) is leading to dramatic growth and how Western companies can adopt jugaad innovation to succeed in our hypercompetitive world.

  • Outlines the six principles of jugaad innovation: Seek opportunity in adversity, do more with less, think and act flexibly, keep it simple, include the margin, and follow your heart
  • Features twenty case studies on large corporations from around the world—Google, Facebook, 3M, Apple, Best Buy, GE, IBM, Nokia, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Tata Group, and more—that are actively practicing jugaad innovation
  • The authors blog regularly at Harvard Business Review; their work has been profiled in BusinessWeek, MIT Sloan Management Review, The Financial Times, The Economist, and more
  • Filled with previously untold and engaging stories of resourceful jugaad innovators and entrepreneurs in emerging markets and the United States

This groundbreaking book shows leaders everywhere why the time is right for jugaad to emerge as a powerful business tool in the West—and how to bring jugaad practices to their organizations.

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Foreword ix
by Kevin Roberts
CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi

1 Jugaad: A Breakthrough Growth Strategy 1

2 Principle One: Seek Opportunity in Adversity 29

3 Principle Two: Do More with Less 57

4 Principle Three: Think and Act Flexibly 85

5 Principle Four: Keep It Simple 109

6 Principle Five: Include the Margin 131

7 Principle Six: Follow Your Heart 159

8 Integrating Jugaad into Your Organization 181

9 Building Jugaad Nations 201

Notes 229

Acknowledgments 259

About the Authors 261

Index 265

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Navi Radjou is an independent innovation and leadership consultant based in Palo Alto, California, and a fellow at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

Jaideep Prabhu is Jawaharlal Nehru professor of Indian business and enterprise and director of the Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

Simone Ahuja is the founder of Blood Orange, a marketing and strategy consultancy with content production capabilities headquartered in Minneapolis and Mumbai.

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“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 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, Renault-Nissan

“The authors have it right: highly structured innovation processes can't deliver all the breakthroughs required by today's ‘speed of business.’ What's called for are new practices that work with—not against—the forces that drive our hypercompetitive world. Jugaad Innovation lays out the new principles that you—and every forward-thinking leader in your company—need right now.”
—Charlene Li, founder, Altimeter Group; bestselling author, Open Leadership

“Businesses must move away from the top-down organizational hierarchies that have defined the past and transform themselves into social enterprises built on bottom-up, agile models based on collaboration. Jugaad Innovation shows how you can enable your entire ecosystem—employees, customers, and partners—to make significant contributions and drive hypergrowth. An important book for anyone who wants to compete in the future.”
—Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com; bestselling author, Behind the Cloud

“CEOs tend to manage innovation like an orchestra conductor—with a traditional, hierarchical, and prescriptive approach. Jugaad Innovation shows how to innovate like a jazz band—with improvisation, creativity, and agility. Both styles are necessary on today's global stage.”
—Doreen Lorenzo, president, frog

“We are entering an age when humanity's grand challenges are being solved by a new generation of ‘do-it-yourself’ innovators employing jugaad-style thinking. Today the entrepreneurial spirit of your very own employees, customers, and partners—empowered by new technologies—can literally change the world. X PRIZE has proven the value of jugaad by leveraging this bottom-up approach of ‘better, faster, cheaper’ to the point of sending a man into space for a fraction of what NASA spends. This compelling new book, Jugaad Innovation, articulates how you can start to accomplish amazing things on a shoestring. It is a vital read.”
—Peter H. Diamandis, founder and chairman, X PRIZE Foundation

“Jugaad Innovation throws cold water in the faces of CEOs, reminding them of the immense power of grassroots, do-it-yourself, cheap, quick, simple  innovation. This is one of the most important lessons that emerging markets are teaching the West.”
—George F. Colony, CEO, Forrester Research

“I've long argued that the role of business is to make the world a better place. In the new economy, this requires true innovation—bold ideas, gutsy people, and extraordinary actions. Need a new roadmap? Fresh inspiration? Accessible tools? It's all in this remarkable book, Jugaad Innovation. Get a copy for yourself and every member of your team today.”
—Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi; bestselling author, LoveMarks

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March 27, 2012
Adopt Frugal Innovation Practices to Jump Ahead of the Competition

 Jugaad \jü-'gÄd\

Hindi word meaning an innovative fix; an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness; resourceful. Also known as zizhu chuangxin in China, gambiarra in Brazil, D-I-Y in the USA, jua kali in Africa, and système D in France.

Western firms spent an astounding $550 billion dollars on R&D in 2010. What did they get in return? Not much. The three industries that spent the most on R&D (computing/electronics, healthcare and automotive) struggled to generate a steady stream of groundbreaking innovations, making it clear that money cannot buy innovation. Today’s business must look to places like India, China and Africa for a new, bottom up approach to frugal and flexible innovation. In other words, they must look to a JUGAAD approach to innovation.

In Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-118-24974-1; e-book available; April 2012), authors Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja articulate how jugaad (a Hindi word meaning an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness) is leading dramatic growth in emerging markets—and how Western companies can adopt jugaad to succeed in a hypercompetitive world. Delving into the mindset of jugaad innovators, the authors discuss the six underlying principles of jugaad innovation:

  1. Seek opportunity in adversity
  2. Do more with less
  3. Think and act flexibly
  4. Keep it simple
  5. Include the margin
  6. Follow your heart

To illustrate these principles in action, the authors take examples from emerging markets, such as the invention of the MittiCool—a low-cost fridge invented by an Indian villager that is made entirely of clay and consumes no electricity—and Embrace, a company that creates portable infant warmers that cost less than 1% of a traditional hospital incubator.

But more important, the authors also describe how forward thinking Western firms like 3M, Apple, Best Buy, Facebook, GE, Google, IBM, PepsiCo, Renault-Nissan are already applying jugaad principles to innovate faster, cheaper and better.

From Procter & Gamble’s reinvention of its core business model to profitably serve economically marginalized American consumers to Renault-Nissan’s focus on designing cars that cost less but deliver more value, the Western firms profiled in the book illustrate how businesses can win by practicing jugaad innovation.

Corporate leaders have traditionally managed innovation like an orchestra conductor—with a hierarchical and structured approach. Jugaad Innovation shows how to innovate like a jazz band—with improvisation, creativity, and agility. Both approaches are necessary to succeed in today’s complex global economy.

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 organization.

 

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