Saturday, 28 March 2015

Jugaad Innovation and Design Thinking

I have been reading up on design thinking and Jugaad (frugal innovation) as practiced in India and elsewhere.

So, while internalizing and digesting the thoughts presented, as well as encountering countless Jugaad  innovation in my daily life, I tend to wonder how these two are linked with each other? or are they disjoint ideas, meant for different customer segments?

The common perception I first got from my colleagues was that Jugaad belonged to the Bottom of the  Pyramid while Design Thinking applied to Top and Mid of The Pyramid (I am using the Late Prof. CK Prahalad's  paradigm here).

But today this hypothesis was disproved by a carpenter today !

This weekend, a carpenter came to do minor repairs in my house. One of the wardrobes handles had come out and needed a replacement. He convinced by wife, that he will come back "next week" (which never happens); But he will do a Jugaad for now!   The "Jugaad" word triggered my interest and putting my kindle down, I tuned into the what and how he may make it work?

After about 5 minutes of deliberation he replaced the broken handle with a piece of string tied between two nails to create a make shift "handle". It serves it's purpose, and since it was not visible from outside the wardrobe, my better half was pacified, and also I was happy as it saved me a trip to local hardware store. Now she can order a handle at leisure on-line.

So what was happening here? I could map his deliberation to Idealization process of Design Thinking, and  his Jugaad as a Rapid Prototype.

Today, I learned from the carpenter that Jugaad and Design Thinking can be mapped.

Jugaad or frugal innovation, can be thought as a functional rapid prototype .


Jugaad Innovation: A frugal and flexible approach to innovation for the 21st century
by Navi et. al.

Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation: What They Can't Teach You at Business or Design School. By Idris Mootee

Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits.
By CK Prahalad

Friday, 6 March 2015

ICICI Bank Needs to Fix it's Innovation Engine

Fast paced innovation is unheard of in the conventional banking domain. Yet, ICICI is an outlier in the banking and payment innovation space. It has been a front runner in Social Payments innovations as well.

ICICI had launched it's Facebook enabled social saving products, iWish, where friends can pitch in some money to help you meet a goal faster. This was more than one year before RBI issued Social Commerce guidelines in Nov 2014.

Earlier it had a launched card-less ATM money withdrawal.

Recently, it paced up it's innovations in order to compete with it's peers and smaller banks. Here is when I started facing #CX , Customer Experience, issues.

First it's IMPS integration with National USSD Gateway, accessible from any mobile operator through, *99#, was flawed and could never get it to work even after escalating to my Relationship Manager of Privileged Banking Account.

Then, it launched it's Mobile Banking, I could not get it to work on any of my 5 Android devices, including 2 tablets and 3 phones of various versions. It's TOTP (Timed One Time Password) App also did not work.

Recently it launched Twitter Money Transfer, I was very excited, and tried to transfer a small amount; but I could not get the convoluted process to work, even after multiple SR (Service Request) and calling up my relationship manager multiple times I gave up.

Finally, last week, it was the last straw on the camel's back, (Camel being the metaphor of the brand image here), it launched the Mobile Money Transfer App, called "Pockets". I tried it out and after lot of struggle I gave up on it as well.

So, I conclude that while fast paced innovation in banking and payments market place is necessary for maintaining it's leadership, it should re-look into it's innovation process itself. It must avoid flops by rigorously testing the apps and social integrations before bringing and advertising it aggressively.  
As for me, I am moving away from ICICI bank, and have moved my e-commerce transactions to HDFC bank. Opened a Kotak Bank account for moving out of this messy apps.

 #CX, #CXGotcha, #PAYMENTS