Week 3: Frugal Innovation: the Next Big Business?

This week we discussed frugal innovation, and how it has helped developing countries to produce new technologies and goods at costs which people can afford such as cars, cell phones, or as you can see from the Ted Talk below, women’s needs.  What surprised me the most was that part of the success of frugal innovation is sub contracting, and even out-sourcing.

Nirmalya Kumar: India’s invisible innovation

As out-sourcing is not considering a good thing in my Western point of view because it takes away jobs from the US and gives them to other countries, I would assume that it would mean even more to developing countries to keep jobs in country.  But, one of the main components of frugal innovation is to produce goods at the lowest cost possible, and if it is more cost-effective for parts to be made in other countries and shipped to the country developing the product, then the overall cost to make and therefore to sell which benefits consumers.

The question is what happens when this trend of frugal innovation becomes big business?

While researching frugal innovation, Jugaad came up frequently:

Is Jugaad Going Global?

I also found that some large Western corporations are also interested in frugal innovation.

Frugal Innovation: A New Business Paradigm

And, according to a BBC radio show, using frugal innovation in the West has large financial implications for the Western corporations.

Global Business – Frugal Innovation

So, if frugal innovation becomes the next big business in the US, will the consequences be positive or negative.  Anytime, resources and costs can be save, that is good right?

India needs to abandon the ‘Jugaad’ mindset


The goal of US big business is to make as much money as possible.  With frugal innovation, saving resources and costs are added benefits.  But, in order to be successful, according to the above study, Western business will have to change their innate way of thinking about business.

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One Response to Week 3: Frugal Innovation: the Next Big Business?

  1. ccummins78 says:

    Hey Taylor,

    Nice job this week on the post about out-sourcing. It is funny how we as Americans think this idea is a bad thing because we lose jobs. But you made a good point that it brings jobs to others-kinda a catch 22 if you will. Anyway, nice job and nice ted talk article too!!!!

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