Jugaad Innovation — Book review & Key learnings

Benoit Lamouche
2 min readMar 12, 2021

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For someone who is living in India, Jugaad is a common concept which represents “the ingenuity in the face of challenge”.

A quick search for Jugaad on Google Images gives you these results :

Apart from all the “small fixes” which are famous and sometimes funny, this book is describing the spirit of Jugaad and how it can be a great way for innovation, even for very big companies.

The authors present some great examples from Indian companies which based their whole strategy on jugaad, from banking to health care, from energy to transportation. Many global companies around the world implemented jugaad philosophy and concepts to their day-to-day innovation process.

Jugaad is a concept which is carrying strong values: frugal, flexible, and inclusive.

  • Frugal. Companies don’t necessarily need heavy budgets and plan to innovate.
  • Flexible. Similar to the agile methodology. Able to adapt quickly, simple.
  • Inclusive. The aim of jugaad is to make innovation available for a large group of people, by making it accessible for cheap.

A good example is “Dacia” brand (known as Renault in some countries like India) :

  • Creating minimalist vehicles, fitting with all the basics needs of consumers
  • Sold for half the price of similar vehicles on the market
  • Accessible for almost everyone
  • Robust, low level of maintenance, basics electronics
  • Reuse of existing components created many years back

→ This brand is a big success.

My key learnings :

The best ideas are coming from the ground. I already knew it, but it’s always good to remind it. We have to create an innovation-friendly environment to encourage team members to create and bring new ideas.

Jugaad is applicable for all companies whatever the size or domain of work. Initially, my perception of jugaad was the funny tricks we see in the streets when people imagine ways to solve recurring challenges. In fact, jugaad is applicable for big companies. One of the biggest banks in India was created out of jugaad. Some global companies like GE, 3M our Philips are using jugaad in their day-to-day operations to innovate and answer the consumer’s needs.

Jugaad is carrying strong values and concepts which are echoing to me. I will definitely implement some of them in my work.

This book is inspiring and I definitely suggest you add it to your To-Read-List.

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