Understanding Frugal Innovation: The Diptych Proposed by Navi Radjou and his Co-Authors

By Jean-Pierre Micaëlli

Frugal innovation is becoming a common concept. Some authors define any ultra-low cost and resource-efficient product or service for poor people as a frugal innovation. They often use a single criterion proposed by Radjou and co-authors to differentiate frugal innovation. This article does not discuss this concept or its uses. It summarizes two books forming a frugalist diptych contrasting frugal innovation in poor countries (Radjou, Prabhu, Ahuja, 2013) and in rich countries (Radjou, Prabhu, 2015).JEL Codes: O31


  • frugal innovation
  • Jugaad
  • Navi Radjou
  • Simone Ahuja
  • Jaideep Prabhu
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