Experiencing Jugaad Innovation

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img20161014093816The current generation does not unleash the full potential of education as it should ideally. Clarifying the thoughts around education; it is not certification as understood by the past and the present generation. Education or learning is the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits and therefore it is an ongoing process of receiving it from anywhere by anyone. You need not undergo a formal education system which was designed to meet the industrial needs about 400 years ago. While we have witnessed the evolution of mobile phones over the last two decades, we are yet to see the progression of education which is continuing its age-old model of teaching.

I happened to be a witness of; one perfect instance of Jugaad when I went to get my mixer repaired a few days ago. The reset button on the mixer wasn’t working. When I reached the service center, it had no power, so I thought testing the mixer would not be possible immediately, and maybe I may have to return a few days after to collect it. However, this young man immediately took a digital multimeter and tested it instantly. Though I was not surprised, I was astonished by this young man’s presence of mind.

reset-buttonLater he unscrewed the bottom of the mixer and figured that a holder holding the reset switch had broken. The make of the switch holder is of a feeble fiber material.  He immediately tried to stick it together with glue and fix it back in, but his attempts failed as the glue was not able to keep the two different pieces of fiber together. After contemplating for a minute, he immediately scrapped off some part of the small hole which allowed the reset switch to protrude outside and pushed the reset switch in through that new wider hole. I was worried, I said to the man, hold on! If you damage the bottom of the mixer by scrapping the plastic off, I would have to change the entire unit which could cost me more. I asked me if he was sure of what he was doing. He told me to relax and then I stood there still just observing.

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He then took a threaded bolt and fixed it permanently in there. Luckily the reset switch had threads to fit in apt into the screw, and the issue was solved. On occasions like this to replace a small piece of fiber in a mixer was next to impossible as that little spare part would not be available anywhere. I even doubted if the OEM also provided that small thing. Trust me; all this was done just in 30 minutes, and he did not charge me a penny for this little Jugaad Innovation that he did on my mixer.

While the entire world is talking about this little Indian way of innovating – Jugaad as it is known and many books have been written on it, experiencing this makes a whole lot of difference changing one’s perception about education.

The art of frugal engineering is emerging in countries like Russia, Brazil, China and India, however the adaptation of this in an academic curriculum is still a far fetch dream as far as education is concerned.

Therefore many students are relying on foreign education or taking a cognitive approach to enabling themselves for the future. No matter what Indian Engineers have been doing a fantastic job in frugal engineering by bringing in designs from an outside-in perspective. Tata Nano is a great example. This innovation technique fits in perfectly in the emerging markets where there is a huge consumer demand and especially when the buyers are price constrained.

Ajeesh Venugopalan is a passionate Lover, Aggressive fighter against injustice, a loving husband, father for one. Love kids and an amazing storyteller for all age groups.

An MBA in Marketing, Ajeesh comes with more than 13 years of experience in Sales and Marketing. He is an avid reader and vibrant speaker in many forums across the country. He has also got a self-published collection of poetry to his credit under the name of “Obscurity of Life.” He loves mentoring fresher’s while at work and teaches students during his free time.

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