Industrial Psychiatry Journal

: 2019  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 312--314

Jugaad: An indi-genius problem-solving approach

Jyoti Prakash, Kaushik Chatterjee, Kalpana Srivastava, Vinay S Chauhan 
 Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jyoti Prakash
Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra


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.

How to cite this article:
Prakash J, Chatterjee K, Srivastava K, Chauhan VS. Jugaad: An indi-genius problem-solving approach.Ind Psychiatry J 2019;28:312-314

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 2020 Oct 28 ];28:312-314
Available from:

Full Text

“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

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}

 Psychology of Jugaad

Psychological principles behind jugaad may be described as under:

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]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]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]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

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}

 Types of Jugaad

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

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}

 Drawbacks of Jugaad

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

Possible compromise of safety. These products are not tested for safety nor do they follow a process involving checking and standardizationPossible 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 lackingPossible 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 ActPossibly un-economic in the longer run. The efficiency of a jugaad product may be lower than the original productPossibly 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 needPossibly 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 togetherPossibly environmentally unfriendly. Since efficiency, certification, and pollution standards are not the driving force, some jugaad solutions might not be environment friendly.


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.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Forbes Releases List of 7 Most Powerful Rural Indian. Economic Times. Available from: [Last updated on 2010 Nov 14; Last accessed on 2020 May 05].
2Radjou N, Prabhu J, Ahuja S. Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth. 1st ed.. San Francisco: Jossey Brass, Wiley; 2012.
3The Chakda: India's True Jugaad Vehicle. Be on the Road. Available from: [Last updated on 2018 Feb 05; Last accessed on 2020 May 05].
4Kapoor V. If Necessity is the Mother of Invention, Dire Necessity is the Mother of Jugaad: Part 1, Business News, The Economic Times; 2017.
5Krishnan RT, Dabholkar V. 8 Steps to innovations. Going from Jugaad to Excellence. Collins India; 2013.
6Bhusan 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.
7Cherry K. An Overview of the Zeigarnik Effect and Memory. Verywell Mind; 10 August, 2019. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 May 05].
8Prahalad D. The new fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. Consum Retail 2019;94:1-7.
9Brown D. Creative Thinking Techniques. IRM White Paper. Australia: IRM Training Pty Ltd.; 2005-7. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 May 05].
10Shilpi. Indian Jugaad Technology. From Indian to the World. Available from: [Last updated on 2016 Aug 05; Last accessed on 2020 Apr 03].