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

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