Frugal Innovation

December 14th, 2015

Frugal Innovation (or Jugaad Innovation)

What is it? …and how does it affect the world?

Frugal by its definition means to be sparing or simplistic. When talking about invention and the global community, the spending and the innovation have a perception about being all about the money involved in the development and production of the products. And where it is true that the frugal invention process does require that companies lower the cost of their engineering and technology in order to provide their products to the lower and middle class, this is not the only principle from which the practice is derived.

The thought behind Fugal Innovation

Like any invention, Frugal Innovations are based upon supplying a need to the public based upon the needs of that culture or community. In many situations the inventions are not necessarily new in nature, but revised and toned down so that the product can be developed and distributed to developing countries. Materials may be substituted for another and processing chips may use a more generic brand, for example. This method of frugal invention diversifies the uses of an elite product to a broader consumer base. As the frugal innovation process is catered to the developing countries, it can be concluded that countries which are already developed can maximize the use of the product as well. In its scope, a frugal invention makes the product market limitless.

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Where is frugal innovation dominant?

India and Africa lead in the need to receive frugal products. It should be understood that frugal does not mean cheap. The innovation is to provide a product that is durable and up to the same standards of developed countries, just without all the bells and whistles that come with the more updated product. For example: A car may be offered without 4G Wi-Fi or with a different interior than that of the same model offered in another country. This does not limit the overall value of the car. It still is to the same standard and quality. This is fundamental. The product is made smarter, not cheaper.

Developing countries are harnessing an abundance of entrepreneurs which are expanding the creative field in innovation. Through the development of new technologies as well as reverse engineering of existing products to meet the needs of the area, India and Africa have caused a paradigm shift in the methodology in which inventors are taking on new ideas.

Read more: 7 Amazing Indian Jugaad which changed many lives

How has frugal innovation affected the world?

Globalization has played a tremendous part in frugal innovation and inventions. As markets become more and more dependent upon the resources, technology, engineering, and products from other countries it is essential that developers and inventors cater not only to the top consumer markets, but to the developing countries as well. And where it may be more profitable initially to have a product made from the most luxurious materials and with the most features, inventors are finding that consumers are leaning more to buying products which are built to provide a function for a low cost with the option to build up the features as needed.

frugal innovation example

Product development is only one of the main sectors of frugal innovation. As invention encompasses any idea that sparks change and development, the inventions do not necessarily have to produce a commercialised product. India has grasped the concept of lowering the costs of not only product production but also that of green technologies, agricultural developments, food production, and energy usage.

Will frugal innovation maximize or minimize the market?

There is little concern that the globalization and the increase of frugal innovation will drive down the overall consumer market. While developing countries can offer the products for a lower costs, those countries which are accustom to the additives on their products are not apt to change their consumer habits. However, those markets which have not had a strong consumer base or those markets which have been limited by the costs of technology and production may find that the frugal invention methodology will increase the overall product production, technological advancements, and the overall well-being of the community. If anything frugal or jugaad innovation will bring up the market as more countries are available to produce competitive products and offer those products to a global community.

Do you have ideas? Let us help you push them forward

If you are an inventor and need to have help in developing your idea, we can help you. Innovate product Design has a free Info Pack available on their site. We can also help you to develop your idea in a frugal way. By offering your initial product with frugal innovation, you are more likely to be successful as your product will be available to a broader consumer base. With supporting help, jugaad innovation and methods, and creativity the only thing that can limit you is your imagination.