Frugal innovations aim at making a product and its production simple and less costly. This is usually achieved by removing those parts of a product that are not used much. This concept is said to have emerged in the 1950s.But it gained attention when popular companies like Unilever started to sell single- use-sized toiletries in developing countries. Today, not only multi-national companies but also local firms have incorporated this idea into their products.
Frugal innovations have succeeded in generating more business and value while reducing the use of many resources. It can be described as a whole new approach. It is much more than just a strategy. The scarcity of resources is taken as an opportunity to deliver a better product. By means of some methods, these resource constraints are converted into advantages.
South Asian countries, especially India has proven itself to be an emerging market for frugal innovation. Since Indian markets are always pricing sensitive, there is always a demand for frugal innovation. Indian markets are much familiar with frugal innovation by the name ‘Jughead’. India’s telecom system claims to produce one of the lowest cost models in the world. The Jaipur foot a prosthetic product is one of the famous examples for implementing frugal innovations in India. Many foreign based companies which have a market in India are compelled to explore the idea of frugal innovation. An example of this can be seen as Fetal Heart Monitor.This innovative product is developed by Siemens which is a German based company. This product uses microphone technology that is not at all costly.
In coming years, more foreign countries are expected to accept this approach in the field of production. Frugal Innovation has actually become a requirement now. It can play a very important role in conserving resources and thus crafting a much better future.
Other important innovations will be highlighted in the future posts.