By Somali K Chakrabarti
“Frugal innovation is about creating advantage out of constraint.”
~ Kirsten Bound, Head International Innovation Research, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta).
The ‘Grassroot to Global’ (G2G) approach for innovation, propagated by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) of India, is set to change the way the world looks at the creativity and innovations at grassroots.
It subscribes to the concept of ‘frugal innovation‘, which involves use of local resources to come up with affordable, functional products that provide value for money and good user experience. The G2G model is developed to take creativity and knowledge that exists at the grassroots level and transform it into valuable innovation for the global marketplace.
The origin of the term ‘frugal engineering‘ is credited to Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance in 2006, who coined the term after he was impressed by the ability of Indian engineers’ to innovate cost-effectively and quickly under severe resource constraints.
With businesses wanting to “do more with less resources”, firms such as Renault-Nissan, Siemens, and Unilever have embraced the concept of frugal innovation.