ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

JUGAAD OR FRUGAL ENGINEERING

Updated on June 4, 2012


The Eighties and nineties had witnessed the emergence of many new management concepts and techniques which was necessitated by the rapidly changing business environment. Just in time inventory, total quality control, KAIZAN where some of the new concepts which emerged from innovative and aggressive Japanese manufacturers.

In the current highly unpredictable and murky market scenario as the world is gripped in recession, survival is the prime concern of countries and organization. Emerging economies like China and India have to find new ways of overcoming unforeseen problems. Traditional forecasting techniques and contingency plans are of little help, as the global economy hurtles from one problem to the next. To overcome this many Indian managers are using a technique called JUGAAD. The concept may not have crept into many B-school texts, but it is fast becoming a suitable technique which is applicable in emerging economies.

This word of Hindi origin literally means improvisation or ‘to work around’. Colloquially this means creativity. In the Indian context it was a cost-effective way of doing things particularly when you are hampered by the absence of resources. In rural India the greatest problem had always been transportation. Poor roads and the absence of suitable vehicles were perennial problems to the rural Indian. JUGAAD was first applied to address this problem. Farmers in Punjab built a JUGAAD vehicle which was fitted with an agricultural water pump engine. Owing to the absence of basic safety features it is not registered with the Regional Transport Office. Despite its serious shortcomings it serves a common purpose: Cheap transportation, and hence finds favor with rural Indians.

Conceptually, JUGAAD means creating and adapting to unpredictable scenarios. Indian managers finding inspiration in this have given it a different name: ‘frugal engineering’. Application of this concept is not restricted just to technical problems. It has wider application in other areas like, marketing, production and logistics. In recent book entitled JUGAAD INNOVATION authored by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja, they have mentioned cases relating to the application of JUGAAD by various companies. TATO NANO is a good example of the application of frugal engineering to produce the small car. They have applied it not only in its production department but also logistics. Their initial plan was to manufacture at their plant in Gujarat, and then send the flat packs to local entrepreneurs all over India who would assemble it and deliver it to customers. This was intended to create employment in local communities. When this did not take off, TATA tapped their dealer network to push the car. But many farmers in rural areas were diffident of visiting showrooms manned by sales men in formal suit. TATA immediately redesigned their rural showrooms with salesmen casually dressed and informal behavior.

Another interesting case referred is that of the Chinese consumer goods company Haier. They have a flexible organizational structure, which aims at not mass production but mass customization. In the case of a clogged washing machine in China, the service technician was aghast to find that the farmer was using it to wash the mud of freshly harvested potatoes. Haier found in this not a problem but an opportunity. They realized that there would probably be many who would be using the machine like this. So they invented a machine, which would not only clean potatoes but also peel it!

JUGAAD or frugal engineering is the use of common sense to uncommon problems using common resources. It is not intended to displace technology but adapt it to unpredictable scenarios.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR

    ram_m 

    6 years ago from India

    Thank you for sharing your experience on the practice of Jugaad at the shopfloor.It is certainly a reflection of ingenuity in achieving objective under a shoestring budget. I wish you could share some of your similar technical experiences which many like me would be interested. Thank you also for giving me some ideas for some new hubs. I'am happy you liked this hub

  • pramodgokhale profile image

    pramodgokhale 

    6 years ago from Pune( India)

    I am retired Blue Collar worker with technical background of mechanical comportment,Jugaad or frugal engineering, India's home grown skill. The world just came to know, One British author wrote one book on Indian skill Called as Geek technicians doing jobs out of box fashion not as routine oriented.they save huge cost in industries and time also.

    While closing my comment,one example

    Long back in Nagpur one foreign company want to install large single machine in pit or depth in ground, German engineer was insisting to call faint crane, but local riggers came to sight and study the problem ,they brought big Ice slab and kept machine on that surface, after few hours ice melted and machine exactly got over seat which was preset.

    thank you sir,

    keep writing such articles( if possible on energy saving devices, or solutions)

  • ram_m profile imageAUTHOR

    ram_m 

    6 years ago from India

    Thank you chaturrajneesh. It was after the success of TATA NANO the word Frugal engineering came into vogue

  • chaturrajneesh profile image

    Rajneesh Chaturvedi 

    6 years ago from India

    I was not aware before reading this article that Jugaad is also known as a decent term Frugal Engineering. Very good and interesting hub. All credit of Jugaad really goes to Indians- ability to work with low resources, still succeeding. Voting it up!!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)