पुस्तक(Title):-Jugaad Innovation जुगाड इनोव्हेशन

भाषा(Language) :- इंग्रजी (English)

लेखक(Authors)  :-  Navi Radjou (नवी राजू),

Dr. Jaideep Prabhu (डॉ. जयदीप प्रभू),

Dr. Simone Ahuja (डॉ. सिमॉन अहुजा)

Innovation is buzzword these days. May it be IT industry, automobile industry agriculture business or even Governance; the innovations and innovators are constantly sought after.  But is innovation the need of today’s world only? Has it become relevant only recently? No; it has been there from the day one of mankind. Even our old Vedas said “नित्य नूतनः सनातनः (Nitya nootanaha sanaatanaha)” i.e. one that is constantly renewing itself is the everlasting.

In all the industries this penchant for novelty, new ideas has been there with goal to become market leader, to have edge over competitors, to carve niche market segment and so on. Multinational companies and industry giants had given the responsibility to generate new ideas, new prototypes to “Research and Development- RnD” department. It was a top-down approach where thought leaders generated ideas and drove markets.

Then we saw a major change – startups, new products from newbies, ideas from common man. These events shook world (“disrupt” as they call it) and shaped the world. Market leaders and MNCs have also took due cognizance of this phenomena and started encouraging their employees to generate ideas, share ideas and be innovative. It is a down-to-top approach. The book “Juggad Innovation” talks about this type.

About word Jugaad

Book says that “Jugaad” is a Hindi word which has origin in Punjabi, which describes makeshift vehicles. Word does not have an exact English translation partly because it is derived from common Indian experience of frugal, homespun and simple solutions to the myriad problem that beset everyday life in India.

The word is also applied to any use of an ingenious way to ‘game the system’. Hence the word carries some negative connotation for some but by and large entrepreneurial spirit of jugaad is practiced by crores in India simply to improvise clever – and completely legitimate – solutions to everyday problems.

About authors 

This book is written by trio – Navi Radjou,  Dr. Jaideep Prabhu, Dr. Simone Ahuja.

Navi Radjou is independent thought leader and strategy consultant at Silicon Valley.  He is fellow at western universities and faculty member of World Economic Forum.


Dr.  Jaideep Prabhu Jaideep Prabhu is the Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Business and Enterprise at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, England. He has taught and consulted with executives from many big MNCs.


Dr. Simone Ahuja is the founder of Blood Orange Media, a marketing and strategy advisory company with digital media capabilities, as well as special expertise in innovation.  Ahuja has served as an advisor to the Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and as an Associate Fellow for the Asia Society, NYC.


About book

Indians find out ways to make their life simple with whatever resources they have e.g. Empty soft drink bottles are used in refrigerator, bigger cans are reused to store rice, lentils etc. Thus “Jugaad” is a different way to approach problem. It focuses what one has in hand & how best it can be used; how to pursue growth in difficult circumstances.

Authors aptly point out that this attitude is not only limited to Indians. It is seen in every community and every country. Even many languages have different word for it. Brazilians call it “jeitinho”, Chinese call it “zizhu chuangxin”, Kenyans “Jua kali” etc. Similarly jugaad attitude is not only meant for individuals. The way some bigger companies have navigated business in stormy weather can be also termed as Jugaad.

Authors analyze further and put forward six characteristics of jugaad approach viz.

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

Every characteristic is devoted a separate chapter and is further discussed theoretically. Interestingly every chapter is full of examples from across the word to showcase that these are not mere bookish theories. There are practical, working examples.

I will just enlist few examples to give you a glimpse of it.

1)   A potter from Rajasthan has developed a refrigerator named “Mitticool” from simple clay. Fridge needs no electricity ,100% biodegradable  and produces zero wastage over life time. It is boon to villagers for whom electric supply is still a distant dream.

2)   Story of “Suzlon” from textile unit in Surat to large wind energy solution provider. Its head Mr. Tanti had initially bought wind turbines for his textile business. He saw the “opportunity in adversity” and turned to new business.

3)   In Kenya only 10 percent population has access to banking service yet mobile penetration is more that 50%. “Safaricom”, a local telecom provider, launched service called “M-PESA”- an SMS system that enables people to send, save and transfer money using phone at a fraction of cost of traditional ways.

4)   In 2000 Airtel was short of both capital and technology. It needed to scales up its business. Chairman Anil Mittal used jugaad approach “getting more with less” he decided to outsource all but key marketing  and branding activities to partner companies like IBM that had capital, technology or both.

5)   “Haier” is a Chinese consumer goods company that is making giants like GE, whirlpool nervous by its growing market share in washing machine, AC and other coolers. Haier got call from a farmer compaling about clogging of drain pipe of washing machine. The technician found out that farmer was using it to wash potatoes J. Instead of disowning the problem the company saw followed “Think and act flexibly” principle. It modified its machine that could handle even vegetables. The product was very popular in farmers.

6)   As per a survey carried out by “Phillips” its consumers felt intimidated by growing complexity of technology. 30% home networking products were returned as users did not know how to set them up; 50% people postponed their decision to buy its digital camera, deterred by its complexity.  Philips decided to follow principle – “keep it simple”. Entire organization was restructured. It even extended its simplicity to its corporate communication : no PowerPoint presentation was allowed to exceed 10 slides. Company launched a rebranding campaign themed “Sense and simplicity”- which has become corporation’s motto. It began to proactively infuse end user’s view in every product.

7)   Jugaad entrepreneurs recognize that even low-income consumers have high aspirations and are eager to climb up hierarchy of needs. In early 1990s, Heloisa Helena Assis- known as Zica – recognized the basic need of underprivileged woman to look beautiful. One need was to straighten hair which costs a lot to a women with meager incomes.  After several experiments on her own curly hairs she came up with right formula to straighten hairs. Zica opened her saloon in Rio De Janeiro. Formula and saloon was hit. She did “include the margins”.

8)   Jugaad entrepreneurs “follow their heart”. They are regularly exposed to harsh conditions in which their fellow citizens live. It arouses empathy of jugaad entrepreneurs to improve their conditions.  Another reason why jugaad innovators follow their heart – more than their brain is – they are forced to think on their feet all the time. Confronted daily with do-or-die situation,  jugaad innovators have learned to make decisions on the fly. That is why when Kishore Biyani saw signs that westernized model of retailing for Big Bazaar was faltering, he quickly dropped it embraced & new one – without waiting for opportunity to do market research.


Having read this elaborated explanation of principles and success stories; it is no wonder that organizations will like to adopt or imbibe jugaad approach in their working style. The chapter “Integrating Jugaad into your organization” thoroughly discusses this process. It also lays out some guidelines for this adoption. There is case study of GE – “How GE successfully integrates Jugaad and SixSigma”.

Jugadd should not be limited to organizations or few individuals. It should be an ecosystem. Larger institutions in the US and Europe – such as governments and universities- are actively supporting the emergence of such ecosystem and contributing to its sustainability.  DIY (do-it-yourself) trend is growing. The last chapter “Building Jugaad nation” highlights different aspects of current status and ways to develop this ecosystem.

My view about book

This book throws light on different aspects of innovation and many user stories. Book is full of details – theories, principles, examples, names, numbers etc. So while reading I felt like taking break to digest content read so far before moving ahead.

You understand the principles quickly but reading so many examples sometimes makes boring. I felt like – “why are you harping on same point again and again? Move ahead”. I skipped few pages and started reading from next subtitle. Thus I did not finish it in one go. I skimmed through important points then revisited few example once and few examples later.

I think they could have structured the book differently;  short topics explaining each principle followed by every case study separately.

All in all this book is worth reading by everyone – professional or not – to kindle the spark of innovation. It will also give confidence to common man that he/she can do far more than just complaining about circumstance or government. It will motivate us to think that problem may be complicated but solution can be simple.

So do read it.


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