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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 312-314  Table of Contents     

Jugaad: An indi-genius problem-solving approach

Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission08-May-2020
Date of Acceptance06-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication14-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jyoti Prakash
Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_87_20

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Jugaad, “an inexpensive innovation to meet an expensive need” has caught the attention of the global industry as a frugal innovative concept worth exploring. Relevant literature was reviewed to understand psychosocial factors related to Jugaad. A conceptual framework was developed based on available evidence. Jugaad is an effective approach aimed at functional problem-solving in a resource-constrained environment. Possible drawbacks need to be kept in mind while utilizing this approach.

Keywords: Jugaad, Jugaad Triad, problem-solving, stages

How to cite this article:
Prakash J, Chatterjee K, Srivastava K, Chauhan VS. Jugaad: An indi-genius problem-solving approach. Ind Psychiatry J 2019;28:312-4

How to cite this URL:
Prakash J, Chatterjee K, Srivastava K, Chauhan VS. Jugaad: An indi-genius problem-solving approach. Ind Psychiatry J [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Jan 27];28:312-4. Available from: https://www.industrialpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2019/28/2/312/291984

Jugaad” can be defined as an immediate, inexpensive, and innovative solution to a problem, for which no inexpensive solution is available. Here, the resultant product or a part thereof is used for a purpose other than what it was designed or created for. An existing available solution from one domain is explored or modified for its utility in another field. For example, Mitticool refrigerator (Clay fridge) made by Mansukh Prajapati from Gujarat which is inexpensive, fully biodegradable, does not require electricity, and does not generate any environmental waste.[1]Jugaad has often been called innovative trick, hack, makeshift or temporary solution, quick-fix, cheap alternative, pseudo-original problem solving, etc.[2]

The term “Jugaad” meaning “put-together,” is used colloquially for innovative solution-focused problem-solving techniques. It draws its origin from Punjab in India where farmers would put together unrelated discarded auto parts and use an irrigation pump as an engine to come up with an assembled indigenous vehicle called jugaad.[3] The concept gained momentum from similar creative use of discarded material and scant resources for purposes entirely unrelated to the purpose of their original design. This cost-effective, alternative concept of Jugaad has drawn attention from management schools for frugal innovations.[4]Jugaad dwells more in flexible creative solutions by agile users than in the structured teaching of academic institutions. These frugal innovations have been recognized even in Hindi films; be it Amir Khan's portrayal of the innovator 'Phunsukh Wangdu' in 'Three Idiots', Akshay Kumar's 'Pad-man' or Hrithik Roshan 'Super 30'.[5]

   Psychosocial Context of Jugaad Top

The triad of Jugaad is depicted in [Figure 1]. This triad of scarce resources in the context of recognized needs energizes creative self-interest to come up with contextual and workable solutions, in other words … Jugaad.[6]
Figure 1: The Jugaad Triad. It has 3 components as under: 1. Scarce resources - Jugaad is inevitable in developing countries and less developed parts of developed nations. The people there are aware of technological solutions or resources required to solve any given problem, but find them too expensive or often simply unavailable. Thus, they are forced to look for alternatives. 2. Recognized need - There is a compelling need for solving the given problem, but resources other necessary wherewithal is lacking. 3. Creative self-interest - There are people available with experience of the given problem, who can contemplate alternative solutions. They are possibly result-oriented and utilitarian by way of attitude. They are likely to have the ability to think about the thought-patterns related to both the problem and possible solutions.

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   Psychology of Jugaad Top

Psychological principles behind jugaad may be described as under:

  1. Solution focused problem solving – This psychological approach focuses less on deficits and encourages entertaining solutions, validating these, and implementing. It resounds more with Jugaad principle of'Looking for possibilities in adversity' i.e. converting constraints into an innovative invite or changing perspective or creating new for viable solution.[4]
  2. Zeigarnik effect – A psychological phenomenon explained by Bluma Wulfovna Zeigarnik as a tendency to remember unfinished or incomplete tasks more than the completed and the need to keep in mind and complete to eventually release the tension. These may be used to channel the thoughts constructively to get the job done somehow[7]
  3. Industrial altruism – There is a huge proportion of customers at the bottom of the economic pyramid which was not tapped due to lack of inside and understanding of cost structure to the poor masses. It was assumed that they do not have the appetite or paying capacity for aspirational products and technology and uplifting them was primarily the responsibility of government or the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). However, in the context of the open international market, e-commerce, and social responsibility, many industries have come up with the idea of profit-purpose merger for earning revenue as well as the goodwill. They are excited to take business challenges which are humanitarian in nature, benefit larger masses, and touch the heart of the clientele[8]
  4. Creative thinking in a constrained environment – Creative thinking is any idea which has not been examined or put to the test earlier. Any such idea or solution which may look ridiculous at outset when deliberated may lead to a different perspective or an innovation. Creative thinker therefore is imaginative, flexible to many options, divergent, and lateral in approach. A fertile creativity in a resource scarcity often has given way to Jugaad innovations.[9]

   Stages of Jugaad problem Solving Top

Jugaad problem solving can be broken down into four sequential stages. These are (i) yearning for the solution/product, (ii) experimentation and learning, (iii) exploring options, and (iv) choosing the most suitable solution. The sequential flow diagram is depicted in [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Flow diagram – Stages of Jugaad

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   Types of Jugaad Top

Jugaad may be either product or process oriented. While the product-oriented Jugaad is coming out with an innovative product like Jugaad Vehicle or Mitticool refrigerator; process-oriented Jugaad is utilizing a principle or process used in one context/product to another context/product, for example, using motorcycle engine for generating electricity to light residences in remote villages and room heating using a cooking gas cylinder.[6],[10]

   Industrial Impact of Jugaad Top

Jugaad has brought a significant conceptual change in industrial philosophy and has compelled many big movers in the market to think on five Fs [Table 1] for a larger captive customer.[4],[6]
Table 1: Industrial impact of Jugaad (5Fs)

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   Drawbacks of Jugaad Top

The quick-fix approach utilized in Jugaad problem solving might have the following drawbacks:[6]

  1. Possible compromise of safety. These products are not tested for safety nor do they follow a process involving checking and standardization
  2. Possible compromise of quality. With components of uncertain provenance, nonstandard production techniques, lack of external quality monitoring, and absence of certification; the reliability of such products and processes may be lacking
  3. Possible compromise of patent, copyright, and other legal provisions. These products might violate existing legal provisions; for example, a Jugaad Van is unlikely to meet certification requirements of the Motor Vehicles Act
  4. Possibly un-economic in the longer run. The efficiency of a jugaad product may be lower than the original product
  5. Possibly un-scalable for population-wide requirements. Many jugaad products meet niche requirements of location, utilization, or cost. They may not be feasible for upscaling of production to meet population-wide solutions of the particular need
  6. Possibly not up to esthetic standards. A jugaad product is primarily of a functionally oriented design and often lacks esthetics as parts sourced variously are simply put together
  7. Possibly environmentally unfriendly. Since efficiency, certification, and pollution standards are not the driving force, some jugaad solutions might not be environment friendly.

   Conclusion Top

Jugaad, though an innovative and indigenous problem-solving method, is sometimes undermined by safety and legal considerations. However, jugaad has managed to catch worldwide attention for its merit and has prompted many manufacturers toward low-cost innovations, customer-centric flexible approaches, and frugal, creative breakthroughs. It carries the potential for the world, especially for developing countries and marginalized populations. As a way of thinking and problem solving, Jugaad is here to stay.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Forbes Releases List of 7 Most Powerful Rural Indian. Economic Times. Available from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/. [Last updated on 2010 Nov 14; Last accessed on 2020 May 05].  Back to cited text no. 1
Radjou N, Prabhu J, Ahuja S. Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth. 1st ed.. San Francisco: Jossey Brass, Wiley; 2012.  Back to cited text no. 2
The Chakda: India's True Jugaad Vehicle. Be on the Road. Available from: https://beontheroad.com/. [Last updated on 2018 Feb 05; Last accessed on 2020 May 05].  Back to cited text no. 3
Kapoor V. If Necessity is the Mother of Invention, Dire Necessity is the Mother of Jugaad: Part 1, Business News, The Economic Times; 2017.  Back to cited text no. 4
Krishnan RT, Dabholkar V. 8 Steps to innovations. Going from Jugaad to Excellence. Collins India; 2013.  Back to cited text no. 5
Bhusan B, Roy S, Jha M, Kumar V. Understanding Jugaad: Multi-disciplinary Approach. Project no R&D/HSS/2013371. Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur; July, 2016.  Back to cited text no. 6
Cherry K. An Overview of the Zeigarnik Effect and Memory. Verywell Mind; 10 August, 2019. Available from: https://www.verywellmind.com/zeigarnik-effect-memory-overview-4175150. [Last accessed on 2020 May 05].  Back to cited text no. 7
Prahalad D. The new fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. Consum Retail 2019;94:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
Brown D. Creative Thinking Techniques. IRM White Paper. Australia: IRM Training Pty Ltd.; 2005-7. Available from: http://www.irm.com.au. [Last accessed on 2020 May 05].  Back to cited text no. 9
Shilpi. Indian Jugaad Technology. From Indian to the World. Available from: https://techstory.in/indian-jugaad-technology/. [Last updated on 2016 Aug 05; Last accessed on 2020 Apr 03].  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1]


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