Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Jugaad ..

Innovation can be divided into temporary (short-term) innovation and permanent (long-term) innovation. While the long term innovation is what most researchers look at, has more research backing, classifications and useful tools to initiate, develop, implement, measure and sustain in the long run, the short term innovation is the most effective to the population accomplished in the safest manner at the lowest cost. 
The short term innovation, with more often temporary benefits and effective output, all accomplished at the lowest cost to the end customer is otherwise called Jugaad (an Indian term).  
Jugaad is a very ethical and simple way of looking at products or services in a much simpler and executable manner. Simply speaking it is a way of being street smart ! It focuses on any improvement in our daily life. 
The main focus of Jugaad is to get the job done than on worrying about how the job is done, the cost involved, the logistics of getting the materials, who will do the job, when it will be done, why it needs to be done etc. 
Jugaad means any small setup intended to get over a crisis of getting a small work done, a temporary arrangement, an easy solution or any of those neat and ethical short cuts involving less effort, less initial investment, material expense and labour, with main focus on causing minimum environmental damage at the lowest cost. 

Click here to understand the crudest Jugaad links in India. 

Another interesting link to showcase different Indian Jugaad applications (some repeated)

In my research to understand the Jugaad type of innovation and how it differs from conventional types of innovation, I have tried to ask and find answers to different research questions on the topic. 

1. Is Jugaad a type of innovation ?
Jugaad tries to bring common design thinking and common sense together, hence in the limited sense of the word innovation, Jugaad is a type of incremental innovation and not a radical one. Over time, the change initiated by Jugaad become more formalised and cleaned resulting in wider applications and standardisation across cultures and geographies.
2. What makes Jugaad innovation unique ?
Being very common and simple judicious application of mind and common sense, we find Jugaad innovations are rarely patented and hence are easily available for the people of the world.
3. Is Jugaad sustainable ?
The main focus of Jugaad is the short term accomplishment of a task in the most safest and cost effective manner and hence the reliability of the method or contraption over a longer time period cannot be ruled out. By the very meaning of the word itself, Jugaad is meant to provide a short term incremental type of long term sustainable solution to a problem. 
4. Is Jugaad cost effective ?
The very purpose of employing Jugaad is to ensure the new idea helps save time and effort, in that way all Jugaad type innovations are cost-effective.
5. Is Jugaad upward scalable ?
Basically because of the discrete applications of Jugaad style innovation, all Jugaad applications have limited upward scalability
6. Is Jugaad environmental friendly ?
All Jugaad innovation applications use commonly available products and services for meeting our day to day needs. Since commonly available items are used, it helps to find effective use of otherwise defunct common day items and hence is environmentally sustainable.
7. Is Jugaad flexible ?
The question is simple, can a Jugaad innovation application used in one setup be used in another Jugaad application in a different setup ? Rarely does this cross functionality of Jugaad applications work.
8. Is Jugaad applicable across geographies ?
Most of the Jugaad innovation applications are process and product specific, which means they can be used in different and multiple geographies at the same time.
9. Is Jugaad applicable to all sections of population ?
Yes, all jugaad innovations are royalty free and can be accessed by all sections of the population irrespective of region and language
10. Does Jugaad involve less effort ?
As the definition of the word Jugaad goes, all Jugaad innovations involve less effort and higher output or utility
11. Does Jugaad involve better, high quality output ?
Though initially the output may not be high quality, over time with stabdardisation and more usage, the output can be made to be of higher quality
12. Does Jugaad involve less risk ?
Since most of the Jugaad innovations are meant to be used for the time being to satisfy a situational need, risk is not taken as an important element in the outcome. 
13. Does Jugaad motivate people to work better ?
Jugaad iovations hel[ meet the immediate needs of the people. Since the needs are met temporarily, Jugaad does motivate people to work better and to think creatively on the job 
14. Does Jugaad involve team work ?
All Jugaad applications are from creative minds. Creativity is not observed among groups but is found among individuals
15. Does Jugaad involve leadership skills ?
Creativity is the important aspect in Jugaad, leadership does not play a role here.
16. Does Jugaad involve high technology ?
Not necessarily, Jugaad finds uncommon uses for very common products, processes and ideas of everyday use.
17. Does Jugaad need high employee skills ?
Again creativity is called to question. Even employees with low skills but creative thinking can excel
18. Does Jugaad implementation require high standards of safety ?
The products and processes on which Jugaad is generally applied are articles of common use. Safety is not a cause of immediate concern
19. Does Jugaad involve high levels of employee commitment ?
Not necessarily, since all Jugaad applications are considered on a smaller time horizon, employee commitment levels are also low, though creativity does play an important role here.
20. Does managing Jugaad involve complicated management skills ?
Not necessarily. 

While going through some Jugaad innovation examples I have come across some of the following features and have classified them in the following manner under the following heads, with each case
 of Jugaad innovation fitting into each area.

1. Structure
a. Simplicity 
b. co-operative mentality 
c. Quality affordable design 
d. ingenuity 
e. creativity 
f. use of natural substitutes 
g, comfort 
h. natural use 
i. basics revisited 
j. simple design 
k. less disturbance 
l. more security

2. Costs
a. low cost 
b. affordability

3. Knowledge
a. useful idea 
b. creativity

4. Applications
a. different applications and uses in different areas 
b. convenience 
c. added security 
d. online monitoring 
e. using alternate products 
f. manual application 
g. multiple uses 
h. finding creative uses for damaged parts 
i. portability 
j. utility

Safety, effectiveness and low costs are the three buzzwords in any Jugaad type of innovation. 

A better understanding of Jugaad as a mode of country and rural innovation will help us understand the nature of what finally delights the customer ..


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