Frugal engineering means developing simple products for emerging markets and is becoming increasingly important for many companies. Frugal products are not cheap or inferior, they are simplified and yet qualitatively robust. But how can frugal products be developed successfully?
Studying how companies in the emerging markets innovate can offer Western engineers and designers important inspiration, and challenge them to develop products that are much cheaper. Such “frugal solutions” will become increasingly important in order to stay relevant in the stagnant markets of the West – as well as for the upcoming global middle class of developing countries. This study focuses on the “jugaad” innovation of India.
Resourcefulness amid serious constraints is known in India as ‘Jugaad.’ In this article, Accenture’s Mitali Sharma suggests this simple concept — which gave birth to a $2,500 car, a $12 solar lamp, and a life-saving incubator made from car parts — might be the antidote to the complexity plaguing your innovation process.
Looking back is a natural as we look to learn lessons from past activity. But perhaps more interesting is to look forwards. In this article Rick Eagar draws on the results from recent research that surveyed the opinions of global Chief Technology Officers and Chief Information Officers and identifies key changes in five distinct but interrelated innovation management concepts as being important for the years ahead.
A mega-trend in innovation is reverse innovation. Reverse or frugal innovation describes innovations originally developed and/or adopted in the developing world which later become prominent in mature world markets. It is an interesting trend that is introducing a new perspective to innovation. It is based on the idea ‘jugaad’, which describes activity in India to adapt existing solutions using low cost technology.