Book Review: Jugaad Innovation

Emma De Vita reviews the book by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja

Jugaad Innovation
Jugaad Innovation

"Scarcity is the mother of invention," say Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja, the authors of this book on how to do much with little.

Jugaad is a Hindi word meaning an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness. As Kevin Roberts, chief executive of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, explains in the foreword: "This is a time of increasing complexity and greater scarcity of resources, of fractured financial models in the west, and confidently emergent economic powerhouses in the east and south." So what can we learn from India, Brazil, China and Kenya about achieving great things on a shoestring budget?

Jugaad can be distilled into six principles: seek opportunity in adversity, do more with less, think and act flexibly, keep it simple, include the margin, and follow your heart. Because being frugal has become a way of life for charity managers, and recycling is a way of life for those who practice Jugaad, much can be learned from street entrepreneurs in the Philippines or industrial conglomerates in India and China. As a Jugaad manager, your heart counts as much as your mind: if you live and breathe your charity, you'll know intuitively what should be done.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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