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Opinion

Opinion Centre for India and Global Business

'Jugaad Innovation'

Professor Jaideep Prabhu

Professor Jaideep Prabhu recognises that although innovation is the major strategy for companies worldwide, the current economic climate is suppressing R&D budgets and traditional highly structured innovation processes. Western companies, he says, should look to the frugal and flexible approach to innovation used by countries like India, Brazil and China as they lead the way in economic growth.

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Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits

Navi Radjou

Navi Radjou has spent years studying "jugaad," also known as frugal innovation. Pioneered by entrepreneurs in emerging markets who figured out how to get spectacular value from limited resources, the practice has now caught on globally. Peppering his talk with a wealth of examples of human ingenuity at work, Radjou also shares three principles for how we can all do more with less.

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Frugal innovation key to healthcare

Professor Balram Bhargava

According to Professor Balram Bhargava, a leading cardiologist at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India is poised to lead the way in a decade of innovation underpinned by the need to be frugal, simple and affordable. Professor Bhargava predicts that India's frugal innovation within healthcare could prove useful and cost-saving on a global scale.

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Where there's a will there's a way

Dr Ramesh Mashelkar

Dr Ramesh Mashelkar is helping to lead the 'inclusive technology' revolution in India, with 28 honorary doctorates to his name, he told the Centre for India & Global Business how science was a changing landscape.

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More for less for more!

Professor Jaideep Prabhu & Navi Radjou

"Inclusive growth" and "affordable innovation" are terms gaining ground in India as new business models to satisfy cost-conscious and ecologically-aware customers globally are developed. Professor Jaideep Prabhu and Mr Navi Radjou went to India to investigate and reveal some interesting tips for the West.

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What price the CSR budget?

Professor Jaideep Prabhu & Ardi Kolah

What price the CSR budget? Even Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets need to show a return. Professor Jaideep Prabhu of Cambridge Judge Business School and Ardi Kolah of 'Guru in a Bottle' have launched a ground breaking new study to measure the Return on Investment (ROI) from CSR outcomes from sports sponsorship with UK cricket, rugby and football and the 2012 Olympic partners. If advertisers can measure their impact on the bottom line so should CSR investors!

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Visit the Guru in a Bottle website

Globalisation of Indian cinema: opportunities for the West

Indian films have always enjoyed a large global audience, but it is only recently that the Indian movie industry has begun to engage the Western film sector and vice versa. Examples of this growing transnational collaboration include India-based Reliance Entertainment's $1 billion plan to co-develop and co-produce movies with Hollywood heavy hitters - and of course the Oscar winning success of Slumdog Millionaire, produced and directed by British talent. In addition, a host of independent producers and directors from India, US, and Europe are catalysing the growth of these transnational creative networks. This unique event explored how the Indian film industry is going global (i.e. its trajectory), its various engagement models with Western players, and the resulting opportunities for the international cinema industry.

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Innovation in India & China

In May 2009 the Centre for India & Global Business hosted a seminar that explored the rise of India and China as both fast-growing global markets and world-class sources of innovation. Even as the world sinks into a global recession, the Indian and Chinese economies are expected to continue to grow, on the strength of their vast domestic markets. But many Western companies struggle to devise the right business model(s) and marketing strategies that can help them penetrate and succeed in both giant Asian markets. The conference explored the best practices for innovating and winning in the Indian and Chinese markets, and discussed how the globalisation of Indian and Chinese firms are reshaping entire industries - from manufacturing to retail to film and art.

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Launch of the Centre for India & Global Business

Professor Arnoud De Meyer

The Centre for India & Global Business will be a powerful form of partnership with knowledge transfer in both directions, not just one-way, from the West to India, but, just as the internationalisation of Chinese companies influenced the West, knowledge transfer will be from India to Europe. Creative solutions from India will enrich the rest of the world.

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What will it take for India to be more innovative?

Professor Jaideep Prabhu

In the face of a deepening economic recession, CEOs and policy-makers in India - like their counterparts in Europe and North America - are banking on innovation, or the successful commercial exploitation of new ideas, to kick start economies and help save their companies from the current economic crisis and looming recession. Professor Jaideep Prabhu challenges the consensus that legislation at country level is the best way to boost the ability to innovate within firms and countries. He argues instead that in today's rush to innovate, the successful economies will be those whose firms have internalised attitudes and practices that foster innovation into their corporate culture.

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India is poised to lead the post-recession global knowledge economy

Mr Navi Radjou

Navi Radjou, the Executive Director of the Centre for India & Global Business, believes that not only India will come out of the current recession relatively unscathed, but will eventually assume a leadership role in the post-recession economy. Taking a long-term view, Navi notes that Western multinationals can't afford to overlook India's vast reservoir of high-quality engineers and scientists, as well as its rapidly-growing middle-class market (India added 15 million mobile phone subscribers in January 2009 alone). Navi also expects the globalisation of Indian firms like the Tata Group to accelerate in coming decade, accelerating India's integration into the global economy. It is against this backdrop that the Centre for India & Global Business is being set up, in order to engage academic, business, and political leaders from around the world, each eager to play their part as India takes its prominent place in the global economy.

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Outsourcing to emerging markets: the challenge of coordinating globally-distributed teams

Dr Michael Barrett

As Western firms outsource/offshore more work to emerging markets like India, Dr Michael Barrett addresses the challenges they face in coordinating globally-distributed teams. He offers advice on how firms can effectively manage globally scattered knowledge workers and facilitate knowledge sharing across regional boundaries.

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How 'frugal innovation' can fight off inequality

Professor Jaideep Prabhu

Inequality is the defining social, political and economic phenomenon of our time. Just 1% of the world’s population now holds over 35% of all private wealth, more than the bottom 95% combined. Bad as this may seem, trends suggest that the situation will only get worse. Addressing it will involve multiple strategies working together, but one which is less well understood is how simple, affordable solutions to people’s problems can make a genuine difference from the bottom up.

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UNCTAD Q&A with Jaideep Prabhu

Professor Jaideep Prabhu

What does innovation have to do with reducing poverty? Participants at a meeting of the UN's Commission on Science and Technology for Development, convened by UNCTAD, on 23-25 January heard many answers, among them the concept of frugal or jugaad innovation. But what is that? One of its foremost proponents Jaideep Prabhu, co-author with Navi Radjou of Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth, explained.

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How frugal innovation can kickstart the global economy in 2016

Professor Jaideep Prabhu

In late 2015 a Cambridge-based nonprofit released the Raspberry Pi Zero, a tiny £4 computer that was a whole £26 cheaper than the original 2012 model. The Zero is not only remarkable for its own sake – a computer so cheap it comes free with a £5.99 magazine – it is also symptomatic of a larger “frugal innovation” revolution that is taking the world by storm.

Frugal Marketing: 5 Ways to Spend Less on Marketing & Do More

Professor Jaideep Prabhu and Ritchie Mehta

In 2006, Devita Saraf, CEO VU Technologies, set out to create a luxury technology brand in India. Her target was the emerging middle-class, a fiercely aspirational yet highly value conscious segment. Devita knew she would have to carefully balance ‘affordability’ with ‘aspiration’ in everything she did. Since then, her company has sold over 100,000 televisions in the sub-continent. While this number may not seem like a world record, it is the business model she used: it has realised 40% cost savings across the value chain! Devita has done this by bringing to life many of the key principles of frugal marketing.

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Mobilizing for Growth in Emerging Markets

Professor Jaideep Prabhu and Navi Radjou

Writing in MIT Sloan Management Review, Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu argue that in order to reach the "next billion" consumers, multinational companies will need to move beyond value chain localization and create new networks of local partners.

Read the opinion piece in MIT Sloan Management Review

Reuters Market Light: Business Model Innovation for Growth

Samir Prakash and Chander Velu

Samir Prakash and Chander Velu investigate a business model innovation for growth for Reuters Market Light, a mobile-based information service for Indian farmers that provides customised, localised and personalised weather forecasts, local crop prices and agricultural news in the form of text messages sent to their mobile phones in their local language.

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Turbocharging the Franco-Indian Partnership

Navi Radjou

Navi Radjou, Executive Director of the Centre for India & Global Business, calls for France to revamp its archaic trade policy with India by forging innovation networks that link both countries' scientific and technology capabilities.

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Cerebral Energetic Officer - Do Leaders Matter?

Professor Jaideep Prabhu

As the world enters into prolonged recession, Professor Jaideep Prabhu examines how critical is the role of leadership in driving transformational change and innovation within organisations.

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All Change: Crisis as Opportunity - Innovating Your Way out of a Recession

Professor Jaideep Prabhu

Professor Jaideep Prabhu explains why recessions are not simply bad times that call for cost cutting alone. Rather, they offer opportunities for innovation and systemic change, change that can make all the difference to the long term success.

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