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Monday, January 21, 2008

Jugaad - The way India Innovates

Praveen Gupta's Global Innovation commentary at realinnovation describes the way Indians solve problems in a non-linear way - it can be called as working the system also - some say exploiting the system weaknesses, I think it is important to understand that over the years Indian mind has understood that Systems cant be designed for all possible future scenarios hence it is important to have people with ingenuity and flecibility to solve problems.

My Comments to Praveen's post I am reproducing below
I think this is an excellent piece that you have written - and see how fluent it is - it is the real experience. We in India are continuously, regularly living through Jugaad, especially people in Delhi. Jugaad is slang for "Jugat" (in Punjabi) which actually has its root in "Yukti" in sanskrit - it is a word for solving a problem that typical linear logic will not work - it is a really the inherent capability of people to solve problems creatively. I havent found any other word in hindi/sanskrit that is close to english Innovation.

Coming to Jugaad, Jugat or Yukti - India has fantastic examples of "Jugaadu" guys (typical north Indians are considered Jugaadu) solving unsolvable problems - I also believe it is the harsh realities that India has faced for last 300 years or so that has created this street smartness in many Indians.

This Jugaadu ness is difficult to comprehend for a mind that is trained to follow systems as if future is predictable, controllable and determinstic. I think the realization that it is not about A PROCESS or A SYSTEM or AN ALGORITHM alone - it is really all about utilizing everything iota of thinking that you can utilize, that helps Indian mind to adapt and thrive in times of rapid changes. As long as the world changes at a slower pace - till late 1980's - the system creation, process creation etc works. As soon as the pace of change increased exponentially, eastern minds are able to thrive much more in the age of rapid change!

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