Why are the Indians so entreprenuerial in their approach?

I’ve been seeing some articles pop up in the media of late that link causally between the unprecedented pace of India’s current economic growth and her bevy of budding entreprenuers. What’s the connection?

That got me thinking – jugaad, or the management of scarce resources to achieve set goals on a global scale, could arguably be one of the fundamental principles of Indian management practice. Not theory. Its an unnamed, unnoticed fact of Indian business life, so much so that most external, or even internal, observers do not realize that it possibly exists.

For the function of jugaad in most offices is to assist in giving the perception of being world class without necessarily having all the pegs into place but knowing that you can somehow, by push or by pull, make it happen in time to launch.

Most of those who do this, particularly if they are managing projects which are creative in nature yet whose manifestation might be as diverse as the marketing collateral to be produced, selecting t-shirts et al to setting the launch time table and managing logistics, cannot help but become trained in the entreprenuerial mindset.

The majority of my colleagues in India’s marketing, design and advertising industry were of this nature.

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6 Responses to Why are the Indians so entreprenuerial in their approach?

  1. Charu says:

    I think a lot of jugaad stems from a basic survival instinct in Indians – working under circumstances that are not ideal or optimum in any way. and as you say, so much jugaad happens without the “entrepreneur” being conscious of the fact thst there is innovation at play. I am not so sure about the “global scale” or “world class” bit though – most of such innovation takes place at small individual levels and die there without any thought to scale – it is only recently that innovations made across rural areas have come to light, training the spotlights on the country as a serious innovation hub….
    here is something I had written a long while ago on one of those magazine pieces which regularly pop up with stories of innovation across India – Innovation or jugaad? (am not able to link to the piece on the post – so here is the link – http://indsight.org/blog/archives/2005/07/11/innovation-or-jugaad/)

  2. Hiren says:

    This reminds of a joke during President Clinton’s visit to India. I don’t remember the exact joke but it ended with how a whole government could be run on Jugaad.

  3. niti bhan says:

    I am not so sure about the “global scale” or “world class” bit though – Yes, I was tongue in cheek wiht that statement thinking of all the formal client visits we would organize for in delhi.
    I know you wrote that article, that is the first and only piece on jugaad I found on a blog last fall when I was looking for information.
    However, in your comment, it seems to me that you’re confusing the strategy of jugaad with the tactics – or implementation of it, wrt innovation or new product development. jugaad is also an attitude or approach to doing business. a four man software house in delhi or bangalore may have an international following and / or clients – that is jugaad, plus they may have a global scale or provide world class solutions.

  4. IndianPad says:

    Why are the Indians so entrepreneurial in their approach?

    Why are the Indians so entrepreneurial in their approach? posted at IndianPad.com

  5. sheshank says:

    gujarat is the fertile lap of all jugaad.
    if you haven’t seen this before ->

  6. niti bhan says:

    even Gandhiji was a bania, is what I like to believe 🙂 keeps my faith in the system sometimes.

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