Jugaad (noun) /ju:-ga:-d/ Jugaadu adj. /ju:-ga:-du:/ : The quintessential Indian term. It means to make something work by any means. To find a solution to a problem that can best be termed unique and unconventional. And Jugaad can be everywhere. You can’t get the tickets or passes to the much awaited concert, you will have a “Jugaad” somewhere to get yourself a backstage entrance. The vehicle went kaput, and the parts are quite costly. Take it to a roadside mechanic who will do some “Jugaad” and start it in one-tenth the cost. It means to find innovative solution, bend rules and be resourceful and get the result. Out of the box thinking if you please.

It can be compared to the western term hack and kludge but it is a bit different. With ethical hacking people have started to accept it as an art but jugaad is based on survival. Like Bear Grylls uses various kinds of jugaads to obtain food for himself on Man vs. Wild.

Another good example of this term would be the vehicles that are used in rural India. These are home made contraption that use agriculture

Starting a Jugaad Engine: Wikipedia

Picture Courtesy: Wikipedia

pump sets as the power plant to drive the wheels. The construction cost is below $200 and the top speed is around 50Km/hr (American readers please do the math). No such thing as riding comfort and usually they have no breaks or have them but they usually fail. Rather these vehicles have jugaadu brakes. A person jumps down to apply he manual wood blocks that stops the vehicle.

Jagaadu solutions are an inherent part of life in India.

I would like my readers to share the “Jugaads” they see around themselves.

For ABC Wednesday

27 Responses to “Jugaad”
  1. dr pratibha says:

    Yes, we INDIANS are truely JUGADU ones.When I was in college and supposed to go on dental camps that time also this jugad technology worked as their was no dental chair ,no equipments…..another example is CWG where all the jugad failed but still they will find some jugad to overcome the flaws of CWG as INDIANS are smart in this job.

  2. Pzes says:

    🙂 Nice post! I’d come across our desi Jugaad via the Economist about 2 months ago.. 🙂 Keep writing!

  3. Roger Green says:

    ah, in the US, you might say, “Winging it” or Doing it “on the fly”, if I’m understanding the term correcrly.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. S.R.Ayyangar says:

    ‘Jugaad’ in Hindi means to get your things done out of turn by any means including foul one. You can get ticket for election only through jugaad so also now you can try for an apartment in CWG village by jugaad once the games are over!

  5. Sheila Vaz says:

    I know of many people who do not throw out old things because they repair them and make them work till the end when nothing more can be done to make them work anymore.
    Nice post.

  6. Sapna says:

    Nice post. Just curious to know what jugaad trigerred this post?

  7. jabblog uk says:

    How very interesting – Jugaad sounds like a catch-all term for ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ or doing things ‘on a wing and a prayer’ only even more so 😉

  8. Purba says:

    CWG is a classic Jugaad job.

  9. Those vehicles look dangerous!! I wouldn’t like to have to jump down to stick blocks under the wheels when I needed to stop!

    Interesting post! I learned something. 🙂

  10. puntonpiper says:

    Jugaadu are our politicos from Karunanidhi to Sharad Pawar who try to have a share from every pie. They do not mind the seldom media glare as long as they mint money at the expense of True Jugaadus.

  11. Magali says:

    Okay, I have heard this word before but never known what it meant (have always been weak in Hindi). Thanks for making me a little smarter. I might even start using this word in my English speech!

  12. CousinLinda says:

    What a great word. I might equate it to the English phrase “come hell or high water.”

  13. jai jugaad says:

    This book is about the fundamental Indian business sense “Jugaad”. It will help you emerge as a winner in everyday situations. The language is straightforward and makes reading even more engaging. Since each chapter deals with situation, which has been tried and tested by someone else, the idea or concept surely works. As Indians, we have all dealt with jugaad, at some point of our life. It celebrates the uniqueness of Indian spirit. Jugaad is ingenuity in solving everyday problems. Jugaad however is not magic. It cannot solve a system failure. It cannot repair the collective failure of a system overnight.
    Jugaad is about carving a successful life for yourself. It is regardless about the circumstances or resources that are available to you. It makes you think on the spot and face the circumstances or situations that demand creative thinking. Tact is the most essential element of jugaad, and all of us use it to deal with someone or the other in our lives. We have faced situations where the boss did not budge an inch, yet with our presence of mind and jugaad, we had managed to make him see reasons.
    Networking is another aspect of jugaad and any marketer worth his salt , will tell you how networking and jugaad go hand in hand. Networking is nothing but creating a human chain of opportunities. You never know, who will turn a savior in hard times. As they say, there are no permanent friends or foes in showbiz or politics. Jugaad is the key to make the team go that extra mile, when nothing else works. Most personal relation executives think of jugaad as their best friend. Jugaad is a celebration of applying common sense and tact by the common man in getting work done effectively and efficiently and maintaining harmony in his life.

  14. Lakhi says:

    nice pic yaar

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