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Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Industry of Jugaad



We have all heard this word ‘Jugaad’ at some point. This is not a part of any vocabulary and does not feature in any dictionary but Wikipedia will not disappoint you. Yes, it does exist there and explains that this word refers to a workaround or low cost innovation which the Indians have brought to the forefront.  This has become an industry in its own right  without any support from organized sector or the government. It  has become a flourishing trade giving employment to thousands and also yielding solutions to those who can ill afford to discard their possessions acquired by shelling out a large amount of money.

Many sell their old condemned scooters and motorbikes which get a new ‘avtaar’  in form of a cart to transport goods and in some cases ply on the roads with impunity even flouting the rules of road safety . They are visible everywhere and one does neither get these registered nor need pollution certificates to ply on the roads. A brilliant solution for cash strapped people and an extremely low cost solution !

My mother in law’s mobile hand set stopped giving the ring tone and she wanted to get it repaired. After a visit to the regular repair and service center an estimate of Rs 400/- ( equivalent USD 8) was given with a lead time of two to three days. I wanted to explore some option so after a couple of days visited a local market in the vicinity that had a small shack where a guy operated a small repair shop. I handed over the mobile to him and he asked me to wait for a while  he inspected the handset. He removed the battery and after a couple of tests declared that the speaker needed a change and I need to shell out Rs 80/-( less than USD 2). He removed the speaker from one of the old mobile in his workshop and lo and behold, the mobile was handed over to me in less than half an hour in fully working condition.

A similar story of a faulty grinder mixer which I had purchased many years ago in US had become unusable due non availability of similar blades. I walked up to a local repair shop and he pulled out a locally manufactured set of almost identical blades and the mixer grinder has since been working!

Many years back while serving in the Navy, at airport in Goa, one of the communication equipment installed near the runway for use by Russian aircraft went faulty and no spare was available for its repair. One of the technicians from my team opened the faulty card and procured some locally available transistors and power amplifiers repaired it and got it going!

I have become a fan of this industry no matter what one may say! Those who can afford to junk their old possessions   as soon as the new models are launched I, ‘the jugaad’ does not mean anything! However, for a common man, it is a solution with merit. A huge unorganized sector in India, Srilanka and Bangladesh thrive on recycling old car engines to make the outdated cars serviceable by adding more years to their life at an unbelievable low cost!!

So next time if one of your costly possessions go faulty and you are considering junking it, give a thought to the ‘ jugaad’ solution which may bring the dead back to life!
PS: Image Kind courtesy Google

76 comments:

  1. Nice read Rahul:)

    My blog: stillettomaniac.blogspot.in
    do visit some time:)

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    1. Welcome to my blog Bushra and I did visit your blog which was lovely:) Thanks a lot and hope to see you here more often!

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  2. A very useful post--imagine how much of junk is thus recycled---this is true green living.

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    1. Thanks a lot Indu for bringing in the new perspective of green living too!

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  3. constructive jugaad is not a bane but boon :)

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    1. Not a bane but boon! Well said Jyoti and could'nt agree with you more:)

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  4. yeh India hai Sir ji....here everything is done with jugaad technology only...and one has to be jugaadu enough to survive in this country.....

    nice post and so true you are while mentioning all those points here.

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    1. Yes Irfan, being surrounded with a world of Jugaad, one has to be jugadu to keep the wheels of life going:)Thanks a lot!

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  5. I had written a long comment. Something went wrong while posting.

    I like these people who 'fix' things within minutes for a fraction of an amount.

    We have a gardener who fixes many electronic items in our house like your Jugaad does. He insists on charging only the spare parts' money. But I pay him in some other way. We would have paid through our nose if we we had gone through a proper 'service'centre outside.

    Now, I know a new word, 'jugaad'!

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    1. Thank you Sandhya for your patience to rewrite your comment! This is indeed a matter of pride for me that you devoted extra time to write this lovely comment and cost effectiveness means so much in today's world!

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  6. Oh yes, Jugaad is a big industry in itself. In UP, there are so many "Jugaads"... yes the vehicles are called Jugaads... a diesel genset is attached to a cart!! When I first saw it, I was amazed. A jugaad has a body or cart of a medium sized truck or a tractor and is always loaded with people and goods. It needs no registration and is economical too! :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Shilpa for narrating those instances and yes we have the knack of coming out with some great innovations :)

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  7. It sounds like a huge recycle industry and almost they are cheap and best! Local or brand, only the names differ but things and technology are same.

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    1. True, Jeevan cheap and workable solutions.

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  8. I know what you are talking about :) :) My SmartPhone once was costing me more than 4500 bucks just to repair coz it had gotten really bad - display was cracked, keypad was not working....I had a friend who repaired it for free in just 2 hours :D :D :D I admire such people :)

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    1. Am happy Divya that you too have benefited by a jugad solution and saved big time!I hope you find more such friends to come to help when needed:)

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  9. I didn't have any idea about the term 'jugaard' before reading this, really interesting to see the innovation and determination of people to make a difference in the service industry what whatever and however means possible, quite inspiring!

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    1. Ha ha, Sam , it makes me so happy to share some bright ideas that are nurtured in this part of the world and make the lives a little easier by going easy on pocket too:)

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    2. Thats true, we shouldn't discourage these types of workmen (like I know they do in some elitist areas) but instead provide them with our business so that they can expand their own horizons.

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  10. Yes we get our old TV's & Washing machines repaired by these so called jugaad technicians.They are actually intelligent & innovative & provide practical, low cost solutions.

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    1. A much travelled person am sure Rama, you would have felt very happy to find such low cost solutions!Thanks a lot!!

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  11. Now this is a boost to my shopping spree. I was sacred what if the mixer bought in US stops working when I am in India but we have jugaad for everything. Hail Jugaad!

    But I was not aware that Jugaad has forayed into airport equipments as well. With such money saving and instant solutions, I think we all will be fan of it. Now, I will check the wiki page. :)

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    1. Saru , you may happily keep adding to your shopping list and when you decide to return to India, you will certainly have people to support you with jugaad solutions when needed.Reverse engineeering solutions is the technical word for Jugaad and now I need to write another post on that subject:)

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  12. I didnt know this word but have been loving this concept that can be found only in India, just love the resourceful solutions that a common man can benefit so much from.. thoughtful post!

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    1. Very true Padmaja that driven against the wall Indians do find innovative solutions to benefit everyone:) Thank you !

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  13. nice read Rahul Sir.:)
    thnx for the heads up about "JUGAAD"....:):) :)

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    1. Thank you, Jemina and am very happy you liked :)

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  14. Indian Jugaad is innovation at its best!

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    1. Undoubtedly, Jugaad takes the cake , Akanksha!

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  15. It happens only in India!! :D Jugaad rocks!!
    http://m.outlookindia.com/story.aspx?sid=3&aid=2754

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    1. So agree with you Radhika!The link was inded a good one!! Thank you:)

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  16. I love the concept of low-cost innovation!

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    1. That is what this is all about! Thank You!!

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  17. Oh God Rahul, IN India thats a blessing. You can get anything and everything repaired. Here its use and throw....buying something new is a lot cheaper than repair....To repair, you call customer care then explain your issue, then finally they give you a quote that can make your heart stop! Hmmm....Miss all that repair....and all that intelligence of these folks! :)

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    1. You live in developed Singapore, Jaishree where these things do not really matter:) As Indians however we miss all these and am thankful you liked this one!

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  18. My grandpa has told me about this recycling things and about how these local batteries could make even the latest devices work with perfection. It is always better to make old things work than to ditch it for something new. That is what my Grandpa taught me.

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    1. What a wise man your grandpa is and has rubbed some of his greatness in you too Ashwini!These comments coming from a loving grandaughter mean so much:)

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  19. wow nice nice superb topic you have taken up!!! having recently seen a fwd mail about great indian Jugaad industry I could totally relate to all that you have written Rahul sir :D good one

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    1. A big thanks Ramya for having liked this post on the recycle industry and what it means for all of us:)

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  20. Nice one, Jugaad is something we do everyday -no matter who we are. Nice thoughts. :)

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    1. Thank you Shreya for agreeing with the usefulness of jugaad:)

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  21. Yes, Jugaad can be a big boon. I did something similar with both my parents' cell phones. And at a minimal rate :)

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    1. I think everyone can relate to this, Rachna as no one minds saving money where it can be done! Thanks a lot!

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  22. It's always comforting to know that there's always a shortcut, cheap solution to our problems.

    The "tedhi ungli for ghee" proverb comes to mind. We Indians have perfected it.

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    1. 'You said it' Purba!! "Teda hai par mera hai':)

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  23. I see their creativity here on using old things into renewed! Of course it’s one of the best recycles, even quality is not luxury.

    Great to be here after long time Rahul buddy :) Hope u doing great.
    Hugs n kisses
    Shilpa

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    1. Such a pleasure to see you back Shilpa after a long break, Shilpa:)I am happy you enjoyed this post on innovative people!

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  24. hehe, the minute I read the topic of the post, the immediate thought which came to my mind was 'kuch to jugaad karo yaar'. This is so common among friends! i.e when nothing works out, one has to go for a 'jugaad'. All the examples pointed out here, just perfect. We had the Alwyn fridge at out house for almost 18 years, and it went on for that long only because of the jugaad. Alwyn had stopped manufacturing aged ago. Great read as always Rahul sir and a unique topic!

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    1. Jenny not enough words to thank you for this lovely comment after a long day:)I too had a Leonard refrigerator which worked for almost as many years as your Alwyn fridge so there goes some more similarity and kept going till I sold it!

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  25. Nice and quite interesting story about most genius people of the world .. Salute them ..........

    Thanks
    Real Estate Developers

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    1. Thanks a lot, my namesake for your visit to this blog!

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  26. Thank you for your visit, have a great day!

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    1. A pleasure to visit your blog every time Sam:) Have a lovely week and nice weekend ahead!

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  27. JUGAD is the root around which develops innovation-what would we be without it ?

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  28. This is innovation at its best at grass roots level, Meera:)

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  29. Sometimes in daily life Jugaad can come in very handy....so you are a true engineer. Lol.

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    1. I need to justify to those around me, Alka:) Thanks a lot!

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  30. Thanks for stopping by... Have a splendid weekend!

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  31. Yes, hearing about Jugaad after a long time...such a commonly used word in India. I started missing home after reading this post.

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    1. Thank you, Ria and it felt very nice that this post could bring back memories of home:)

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  32. Hi Rahul, hope you are well and may you have a great start to the week!

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    1. Thank you Sam, always a pleasure to stop by! Have a lovely week:)

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  33. :) Our life revolves around Jugaad. I am reminded of so many incidents now :)

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    1. Very true, but for jugaad many things would'nt be there:)

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  34. Wow...how neat..My vote for you. Let me share my two cents..I got the Preethi Mixer from India to US. The mixie jar was not working. I send it back to India and asked mom to send me a new one. Becuase here in the US, I took it to an Indian electronic store and they said, it would cost me $20. Mom took it to the closest mechanic and he fixed it in two minutes and didn't charge her 20 Rs too..

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  35. So happy you too could see the value of these people who are so cost effective and result oriented, Latha:)

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  36. Jugaad, yes. From pressure cooker whistles to Morphy Richards' blades - quite cost effective and handy.

    Hail Jugaad!

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Very true Susan ! Very adaptable regardless of what may be the rechnology!!Thank you

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  37. Whenever things go wrong, Jugaad definitely comes in handy. Recently the leather strap of my Titan watch broke down in less than an year. When I approached the Titan shop, the guy told me that the replacement cost would be Rs.1200/-. I shook my head feverishly and brought it back. Hoping for some Jugaad.

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    1. Thanks a lot PN! We all see value of Jugaad:)

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  38. Yes...we see the value of jugaads...! This was a joy to read..!!

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  39. Before reading this post, I didn't know what Jugaad means. Very creative and useful concept! Saves our lot of time, money and energy!

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