Why India is called ‘COUNTRY OF JUGAAD’?


Before we dig into the complex world, let me explain the meaning of Jugaad for all our non-hindi readers. JUGAAD is colloquial Hindi word that can mean an innovative fix or a simple work-around, sometimes pejoratively used for solutions that bend rules, or a resource that can be used as such, or a person who can solve a vexatious issue. It is used as much to describe enterprising street mechanics as for political fixers. In essence, it is a tribute to Indian genius, and holistic thinking. The colloquial meaning of the same word is abundantly used, usually signifying the creativity of the Indian people to make existing things work or to create new things with meagre resources.

The jugaad concept can be contrasted with the Western (originally American) concept of a hack or kludge. Although in its general meaning “hack” is very similar to “jugaad”, a jugaad can be thought of more as a survival tactic, whereas a hack, especially nowadays, is seen an intellectual art form. Both concepts express a need to do what needs to be done, without regard to what is conventionally supposed to be possible.

Indians are known for their jugaad practices and new term Jugaad innovation is a result of using Jugaadu ability to solve problems and innovate. But actually it means an attitude to find quick, creative, less cost, local market solutions in  available resources and which is tested locally and may have applied in other markets as well.

We often call a person JUGAADU who knows all the work around. Remember Shahrukh khan in MY NAME IS KHAN when he flashes a cardboard saying Repair almost Everything. That person in India will be called JUGAADU in slang and this word is very common in north central and some eastern part of India even with language barrier.

Jugaad is increasingly being recognized all over the world as an acceptable form of Frugal engineering pioneered in India. Companies in India are adopting Jugaad as a practise to reduce R & D costs and development costs. Jugaad is now an acceptable management technique of Indian origin. It also applies to any kind of creative and out of the box thinking which maximizes resources for a company and its stakeholders.

There are similar terms for Jugaad in different countries :

  • China – Zizhu Chuang Xin
  • Brazil – Gambiarra
  • USA – Do it yourself (DIY)
  • Africa – Jua kali
  • France – Systeme d

But in recent times, this word has found a second interpretation as contact to ask for favours. Like if you want approval for a property and if you know somebody in PWD dept., he will be your JUGAAD (very similar to Contacts for favour in western countries)and in the current times of corruption, this interpretation is found much more common in India.

But the best part is now people are getting financial and moral support from the state and central govt. and with huge branding and marketing of Digital India and make In India, knowledge is even going to the remote areas and villages and people are getting inspired to do new Jugaad Innovation like :

  • National Innovation Foundation – Govt. of India institute to promote grassroot innovation
  • Honey Bee Network (SRISHTI) – organization helping Indians to protect their talents

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