"JUGAAD" - Often termed a “hack,” a colloquial Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Sindhi, and Urdu word for non-conventional, frugal innovations, which are uniquely an Indian way of life.


Somewhere in India’s culture lies solutions to the relationship of humans with the only planet we call home. Traditionally, Indians are the least wasteful people and have consciously aspired for doing more with less. Our philosophy and values have always underscored a sustainable way of life. But rapid urbanization and consumerism have had their share of influence. The Future Climate Leaders’ program is solutions-inspired for local problems. It invokes our Indian tradition of “JUGAAD” of doing more with less for more.


From the first rocket which was transported on a bicycle to its launch site in a church’s backyard in a remote fishing village in southern India, to the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM,) to launch of a record 104 satellites by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in a single mission, incredibly, the Indian Space research Organization (ISRO,) has been leapfrogging the scientific world through frugal innovations since its very birth.

ISRO’s ‘space venture on a shoestring’ was made possible not only by world-class, yet less expensive engineering talent willing to work around the clock but also by using ingenious improvisation to cope successfully with resource constraints and exceptionally tight timelines.

1975 in route for launch
2013 MOM vs. USA’s MAVEN
Our own Hidden Figures

The Future Climate Leaders’ (FCL) Program will challenge the hidden “Jugaadu” in the high school teams to be defiant, unrelenting, and frugally innovative for their own city’s future.


Prof. Jaideep Prabhu

Director, Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Jaideep Prabhu is Professor of Marketing, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business and Enterprise, and Director of the Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He has published in and is on the editorial board of leading journals such as the Journal of Marketing. He has appeared on BBC News24, BBC Radio 4 and Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and has been profiled in BusinessWeek, BBC World Service, The Economist, The Financial Times, Le Monde, The New York Times and The Times. He has consulted with executives from Bertelsmann, Barclays, BP, BRAC, BT, GE, IBM, ING Bank, M&S, the NHS, Pearson, Roche, Shell, Siemens, Unilever and Vodafone. He is the co-author of Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth, described by The Economist as “the most comprehensive book yet” on the subject of frugal innovation. His 2015 book Frugal Innovation: How to do Better with Less won the CMI’s Management Book of the Year Award 2016. His most recent book How Should a Government Be: The New Levers of State Power was published in February 2021.