Jugaad innovation – review

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Jugaad is a Hindi word which refers to an improvised solution born from ingenuity and resourcefulness. This concept forms the basis of “Jugaad Innovation”, a book which argues that companies need to embrace a frugal and flexible mind-set in order to better foster innovation.Authors, Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja, argue that the current method of nurturing innovation has become obsolete. Simply increasing capital and resources will not guarantee new ideas and the authors argue that Western companies must turn to developing markets for inspiration.3M is given as an example of a Western company effectively implementing Jugaad techniques. This multinational corporation, based in Minnesota, has been releasing iconic products since it was founded in 1902. Decades ago, when 3M realised that consumer products rapidly became obsolete, the company implemented a 30 per cent strategy.This policy states that 30 per cent of revenues must come from new products introduced no more than five years ago. Known as the New Product Vitality Index, the policy was further complemented by a 15 per cent programme. Upon realising that employees were at their most creative in their “spare time”, 3M allowed staff to allocate 15 per cent of their time to a “dream” project.This revolutionary strategy, which has since been emulated by Google and other successful companies, allowed 3M to quickly respond to an ever evolving market.  The business currently boasts a portfolio of more than 75, 000 products, including Scotch Tape and Post-it Notes.Jugaad Innovation is broken down into six guiding principles:• Seek Opportunity in Adversity• Do More with Less• Think and Act Flexibly• Keep it Simple• Include the Margin• Follow your HeartEach section contains numerous case studies which examine how businesses have successfully applied the principles of Jugaad Innovation. Examples range from the invention of the combine harvester to the more recent release of Aakash, the $60 tablet computer. The current “Jugaad” practices of certain Western companies, including Facebook, Renault and BestBuy, are also dissected.Jugaad Innovation provides invaluable insight into the prevalent form of innovation in emerging markets. It demonstrates how businesses can thrive despite the difficult economic landscape. The authors also highlight how a shift from more frugal practices, such as those employed during the Industrial Revolution in the US, to rigid process, including Six Sigma, have stalled innovative thinking.In the words of Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, “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.”

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