Why we need frugal innovation today.

Frugal Innovation:

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. ” ― Pablo Picasso

What is "Frugal"?

Frugal implies "simple and plain and costing little".
Frugal innovation suggest to simply develop or innovate products and services with optimum resources that reduces the cost of the development, reduces the complexity; resulting in reducing product prices and product maintenance cost.


In today's modern world we often look up to next big, flashy products. Every next new product is costly with extension to existing features.
With every passing day,superlative researches are being done, technology has been changing rapidly.
And we are seeing more and more superficial  products, but with increasing price tag.
With such great advances in technology present world, why can't we have better, sustainable products in low price?
Do we really need driver less cars or we need some simplistic affordable solutions to prevent accidents and traffic jams?

When Henry Ford came up with his innovative model T or A cars, it was not to produce high cost product, but to provide low cost product to every American household. Created revolution.

Frugal innovation focuses on thinking out of the box, and work more agile way.
It is observed that frugal innovation is most successful in areas under developed where unavailability of resources is common issue. Widely referred as "jugaad -जुगाड़ "
In India it is mostly observed in rural areas, people innovate to solve day to day needs and challenges.
While urban India is using on high profile global products in high economy.

There are many successful examples of products in developing countries like India, China.
Here are 3 examples of superlative low cost solutions, that did not happened in developed super power nations.

#India's Mars Mission:

India's much discussed mars mission achieved in fraction budget of developed countries. How they did it? Talent and approach by ISRO scientist.
Image Courtesy: trak.in

#Generate Water out of air in Peru:

This South  American country has developed advertising billboards,that gives water everyday. Simplified approach with available humid conditions.

Image source: techland.time.com

#Kenya: No google maps, no car sensors to resolve traffic:
Nairobi is one of the most congested cities in the world. A mobile company with the help of IBM researchers and data analytics, helps to resolve traffic congestion by 20-30%.
It does not uses costly camera or sensors, rather uses low cost web cams.

Benefits of Frugal products -

  • Meet the needs of masses. 
  • Develop local and thus help in grooming local economy.
  • Developed with minimum raw material, less use of natural resources thus preventing major loss to the natural resources.
  • Simpler to use.
  • Saves money and impact inflation.
  • Less carbon footprints
Thank you!
Your thoughts will always be appreciated.

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