Posts By: jgellner

Sultans of Jugaad

Those who dare, do. Those who do, make history. Those who make history live forever.

When it comes to Jugaad, the ability to do more with less is but one aspect. Seeing opportunities where others only perceive a challenge; triumphing in the face of adversity; putting the power to effect change in the most capable hands. Jugaad encompasses a diverse array of business approaches and scenarios, which is what makes it so inclusive.

Take the example of Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a farmer from Gujarat and the inventor of MittiCool: an earthen cooling fridge, made frugally without any need for electricity, and 100% biodegradable. In the face of India’s two-pronged struggle with sweltering heat and sparse access to electricity outside cities and towns, Mansukh devised a method that surmounted both obstacles and remained true to India’s affinity for earthen products.

Or look at the case of PayTM and its founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Founded only in 2010, the Delhi-based startup is valued in excess of USD $5 billion, employs over 13,000 employees, and has 3 million offline partner merchants. In March 2017, it expanded to its first overseas market: Canada. All Sharma had to do was identify a Jugaad-worthy situation, and he did. Indians had begun to embrace mobile technology, which was getting more cost-effective and therefore widespread. Digital finances were traveling a parallel path. All he did was merge the two roads.

The benefits of embracing Jugaad are also evident at the highest levels, with the likes of Reliance founder Dhirubai Ambani, who started by exporting Indian yarn and spices to Yemen before sitting at the helm of a multi-billion-dollar corporation. Or the two-time Olympic wrestling champion Sushil Kumar, whose childhood was mired in his parents’ struggle to afford his expensive athlete’s diet and put food on the table for the rest of the family.

Jugaad is not just for MBA graduates and business scions. Like the very air we breathe, it is present in our very DNA. Every single one of our brilliant billion. And by attending the 2017 EO Hyderabad University, you can pull off some Jugaad of your own and imbibe the very best this global lesson has to offer.

Hyderabad’s Footprint

How does a pearl evolve into precious silicon? Look to Hyderabad for the answer.

Once the pearl capital of the world, much of Hyderabad’s rich business legacy is the result of its erstwhile dynastic rulers, the Nizams. Once the epitome of socio-economic and civic progress across India, Hyderabad has only gone from strength to strength since it began pioneering innovation and embracing Jugaad in the 1930s when Bidriware and other local handicrafts ruled the commerce roost.

In recent years, Hyderabad has reinvented itself as an information technology hub, with infrastructure and strategy inspired by the booming success of America’s Silicon Valley. The city has also displayed an aptitude for and steady growth in other industries: insurance, bio-sciences, hospitality, and finance among them.

Aided by a central location makes the trade with major markets straightforward and quick, Hyderabad is within three hours of major domestic and international commerce nerve centers: New Delhi, Mumbai, Dubai, Colombo, Singapore, and Bangkok. The city is blessed with capital of all kinds: natural resources, brilliant minds, and a wealth of ready investment. There is only room to expand.

In Hyderabad, the essence of Jugaad’s approach of achieving great things in the face of unique challenges is present in how an SME approaches business. In corporate India, you will witness Jugaad’s other facet, of bringing together a variety of business approaches to do great things in the face of adverse conditions.

And best of all, you will see how both approaches (and more) co-exist side by side; feeding off each other; lending one another a synergy that embodies what Jugaad is at its core. Registration for the University launches in just a few weeks. Register on 15 May to learn more at the 2017 EO Hyderabad University!

What Makes India’s Business Tick?

Surrounded by the seas and crowned by the Himalayas, India is a land of remarkable diversity. From its wealth of tradition to its aesthetic infrastructure to a million culinary delights, this is a country that inspires awe.

There is no doubt that India is one of the world’s foremost travel destinations, but have you wondered what it’s like as a business destination?

Some quick math pegs India’s population as of 2016 at 1.43 billion people. That means even if 0.5% of the population decides to pay attention to what you have, you already have a captive audience of 6.6 million people. And that’s just scratching the surface of what we offer.

India has 27 states and seven union territories, each of which brings its own business traditions, customs, and approaches to the national table. As a direct result of this diversity, India is blessed with little melting pots around the country. This makes it easier for businesses to meet the needs of specific markets within India.

India’s homegrown businesses work in sync with everyday life: fast-paced and intuitively strategic. Garnered and refined over the centuries, our undocumented business acumen runs deeper than contracts and manuals. It’s intuitive to the point of being part of our bloodlines.

All these things come together to create our approach to work, play, and life. We call it Jugaad, and in India and Hyderabad, you’ll see it everywhere. Make sure you register for the EO Hyderabad University on 15 May 2017 and experience the Jugaad way for yourself.

The Jugaad Mantra

Jugaad – it’s much more than ‘frugal innovation.’ Jugaad is innovation and business nous. It’s a way of enabling, enriching, and delivering outcomes in situations where the odds are stacked against success.

In a culturally diverse country like India, the concept of Jugaad is more than a topic of study in business schools. It applies to everyday life, visible in every strain of the commerce ecosystem.

What’s one to do when one is stuck in a tight place? Why, invent a way out. Because situations of challenge demand innovation, when resources and time are scarce, intuition and experience enable you to make a decision that works best.

For many years, Indian entrepreneurs have held the handshake and spoken agreement on par with a signed contract. The system might sound odd to the uninitiated, but it is exactly how India’s unwritten business acumen has flourished.

Of course, the best way to learn about Jugaad is to see it for yourself. Come experience it firsthand this October at the 2017 EO Hyderabad University.