Sunday, July 25, 2010


What's jugaad? What's to jugaad? Will the noun and possibly even the
verb catch on in global English?

Anand Giridharadas explains in a New York Times article:

"It is, for one thing, illegal: a truck tossed together, saladlike, in
the sheds of northern India, beyond regulators' view. Parts from old
jeeps are cut and welded and combined with wooden planks to form a
chassis. An engine commonly used for irrigation pumps is attached.

Actual bells and whistles may be added as adornments, and the wheels
are painted by hand.

The truck gives India's village dwellers a cheap ride: 10 cents for a
half-hour journey with a few dozen others. So compelling is their
business logic that jugaads have become popular in dowries.

The truck may be obscure, but the culture behind it is now a
management fad. Jugaad, not as noun but as verb, is suddenly the talk
of consulting firms like McKinsey and companies like Best Buy in the
United States.

The slang Hindi verb 'jugaad,' as translated for managers, means to
make something much like a jugaad. It is to be innovative despite
scarcity — a winning formula for hard economic times. Management gurus
cite India's ultra-low-cost creations as inspiration: the $800
electrocardiogram, the $24 water filter, the $2,500 car, the $100
electricity inverter, the $12 solar lamp.."

Giridharadas' article is worth reading in full here: