WORKING PAPER SERIES
WPS No. 677/ August 2011
JUGAAD- Not just “Making do” but a Low Cost Survival & Coping Strategy at the Bottom of the Pyramids.
Ramendra Singh Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Joka, Kolkata 700104
Vaibhav Gupta B.Tech Student, Department of Applied physics, Delhi Technological University, Delhi, India
Akash Mondal B.Tech Student, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India
JUGAAD- Not just “Making do” but a Low Cost Survival & Coping Strategy at the Bottom of the Pyramids. Prof. Ramendra Singh1*, Vaibhav Gupta2#, Akash Mondal3^ Abstract Till the recent times, Indian jugaad was another term for frugal innovation. Literally,it referred to the low-cost locally made vehicles used as a means of transportation in the rural India constructed as a result of the lack of resources and unhealthy financial conditions. The vehicle does not need any registration and is thus, also free from paying any road tax. Contrary to this, in the business and management literature, the term has much more added to its context. The paper discusses Indian jugaad as not only a way of “making do” but a methodology that has emerged as a way of survival for the people at the bottom of the pyramids. The lack of capital and resources causing the unaffordability of the basic amenities motivates the option of jugaad in the BOP. The paper mainly focuses on such jugaads that are taking place at the BOP level. Varying from a common BOP household to the entire chain of BOP entrepreneurship, the paper covers all the major innovations that have lifted the lives of these people. The paper discusses various physical jugaads involved in different sectors at BOP, such as a KUTCHA house, the cooking stove such as CHULHAs, and other small scale jugaads in the transportation, health, ICT and water. Some social and emotional jugaads involved in the sale and purchase of products concerned with the street entrepreneurship at the bottom of the pyramids are also highlighted in the paper. The paper also compares the physical Jugaads involved in housing, and energy to their actual urban model and discusses the entire pattern of the jugaad, including its construction, cost effectiveness at BOP. The approach to discover the innovations mainly includes research work at the grassroots level consisting of interviewing the people regarding these jugaads, analyzing its effectiveness and then comparing the entire scheme of things between a rural BOP household and a developed urban household. Some unethical jugaads are also mentioned in the 1 Assistant Profesor, Marketing Group, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, India 2 3
B.Tech Student, Department of Applied physics, Delhi Technological University, Delhi, India B.Tech Student, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras,
paper common at the bottom of the pyramids. The paper finally concludes that a an individual at the BOP has to struggle his/her entire life and is left with no other option but to opt for such jugaads that are although not sustainable but are a way to earn them a livelihood, at the cost of life.
Introduction According to The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramids, C.K. Prahlad, the four billion people living on less than $2 per day refers to, what is called the Bottom of the Pyramids (BOP). These people consist mostly of the street hawkers, maids, construction workers and many such other categories. People at BOP are generally characterized by their low income, low literacy, low skills, limited infrastructure, limited resources and less freedom. In India, traditionally jugaad refers to the cobbled together motorcycles, trucks, and cars that can take a larger number of passengers than a...