Can Frugal Innovation models apply to Western corporations?

Frugal Innovation, seen in 2012 as “a distinctive specialism of the Indian system” — is about delivering innovation while minimising costs. Here’s how UK research body NESTA put it back in 2012: “Frugal innovation responds to limitations in resources, whether financial, material or institutional, and using a range of methods, turns these constraints into an advantage.”

As examples such as Tetra Pak’s pyramid-shaped “samosa” packs (lower manufacturing cost, higher efficiency) illustrate, it is possible to use cost minimisation as an innovation driver; the four conditions of “lean, simple, clean and social” can lead to products and s…

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