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Navi Radjou: Creative Problem Solving in the Face of Extreme Limits

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Navi Radjou: Creative Problem Solving in the Face of Extreme Limits

Background

The case study is based on the idea of getting more value from a limited and low amount of resources. The idea of frugal innovation is discussed by Navi Radjou in the given case. Frugal innovation has the ability to create more social and economic value using few resources. Frugal innovation is a process of redesigning products and processes to cut out the unnecessary cost. A beam of light is thrown on the development in the West, where companies are investing a great amount in the research and development and offering complex products. People with low income can’t buy these high-cost products made by Western companies. To make products cost-effective, frugal innovation is adopted by India, China, Africa, and America. All these countries are providing fewer cost services to their citizens by using frugal innovation. The products made by frugal innovation are of low cost and environment-friendly which are playing a vital role in the life of middle-class people.

Entrepreneurial mindset of Navi Radjou

The entrepreneurial mindset is the ability to look at a problem or situation, digest all the available data and resources and with the help of these resources make a confident decision to move forward.

In the given case, the mindset of an entrepreneur is to use the available limited resources and make products of low cost for the poor and middle-class people. Entrepreneurs use frugal innovation to develop new and pocket-friendly services and products. The main focus of the entrepreneur is to design better solutions at a low cost for people with low purchasing power.

Innovation

Definition

Micro objectives

Firm Strategy

Macro consequences

Frugal innovation

New technological paradigm

Cost saving in the use of innovation and production of new services and products

Products are less expensive for the new market segments

Best growth

The satisfaction of the needs of poor and middle-class people


Identification of problem

In the Northern regions, resources scarcity is there and people can’t afford the expensive products. Convention business in the west follows the concept of more money for more services. Growing income disparity is the big disconnect between the existing services and basic needs of the customers.

Identify the need for customer

Customers need cost-effective products and services. People in the North region are poor and they can’t purchase high-cost products and use them in their daily life. Talking about Kenia, where 70% of people live without electricity because the electricity cost is high.

Create value

Entrepreneurs identify the problem of fewer resources and use the idea of frugal innovation to solve the problems of people. By using these limited available resources solutions are created to fulfill the daily needs of people. To solve the problem of electricity in Kenya, M-KOPA is created which is cost-effective for the people.

In China, the largest IT service provider, Neusoft Corporation developed a telemedicine solution which helps doctors to remotely treat the poor and old people in the villages of China. This solution is based on the idea of simple to use medical devices that can be used by the less qualified health workers like nurses. China needs this Frugal medical solution because it is expected that in the coming years there will be half billion senior citizens. China is using telemedicine solution for cost-effective treatment of billions of patients instead of building expensive hospitals.

Kerrie Unsworth’s theory of creativity followed by Navi Radjou

Kerrie Unsworth proposed that there was more than just raw intelligence that influenced the creative process. Unsworth specifically looked at two aspects of context named as a type of problem and motivation. The cases are differentiated by Unsworth based on whether the given problem is known or not. The closed problem refers to the instances when the problem is clearly defined and open problem are the problems that need to discover.

     
Based on the different types of problems and motivations, Unsworth broke down the creativity into four types and created a matrix.
 
Entrepreneurs of frugal innovation use the responsive theory of creativity. Responsive creativity externally driven with a closed problem type and has the opportunity for creative input and is often seen in occupational and professional scenarios.

Navi Radjou relates the idea of converting humidity in water with responsive creativity. In South America, Lima is the region with high humidity and rainfall is very less there. Giant advertising billboards are designed by an engineering college of Lima, and these billboards absorb the humidity to convert it into the purified water. It generates approximately 90 liters of water every day.

Produce high with low

By using the limited resources high values can be given to the people which will be cost effective and simple to produce. Frugal innovation helps a lot to fulfill the needs of people at low cost. Frugal innovation resolution is led in the West by entrepreneurs who are working on the solutions which can address the needs of people.

Example: - In China, the largest IT service provider, Neusoft Corporation developed a telemedicine solution which helps doctors to remotely treat the poor and old people in the villages of China. This solution is based on the idea of simple to use medical devices that can be used by the less qualified health workers like nurses. China needs this Frugal medical solution because it is expected that in the coming years there will be half billion senior citizens. China is using telemedicine solution for cost-effective treatment of billions of patients instead of building expensive hospitals.

Reuse the resources

Frugal innovation is based on the idea to reuse the resources to produce new products and services. In South America, Lima is the region with high humidity and rainfall is very less there. Giant advertising billboards are designed by an engineering college of Lima, and these billboards absorb the humidity to convert it into the purified water. It generates approximately 90 liters of water every day.

The above example explains the concept of converting diversity into an opportunity.  

Innovation approach of Navi Radjou to meet customer need

Customer needs the products with low cost and high efficiency. With the help of frugal innovation daily needs of people can be fulfilled with less cost. Frugal innovation gives the benefit of reusing the resources that the people already have. The example of Mansukh Prajapati can be taken who made freezer with clay and soil which consumes no electricity and poor people can also buy it. Several Western companies are adopting frugal innovation to create affordable products for consumers.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is concluded that frugal innovation is the best way which transforms the constraints into opportunity. Frugal innovation is cost-effective and environmentally friendly which is best suited for poor people. Instead of spending a lot of money on the high-cost technologies it is better to adopt frugal innovation. Frugal innovation revolution in the West is led by creative entrepreneurs who are coming up with an amazing solution to address the basic needs of people. High-cost products produced by large companies are limited to rich people and middle-class people can’t afford these products because of diminishing purchasing power.

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