Posts Tagged ‘jugaad’

A report in the New York Times last week brought on a wave of emotion in me regarding the 3 years I worked at Savvica and travelled extensively to Gurgaon. I miss it!

In India, Dynamism Wrestles With Dysfunction

GURGAON, India — In this city that barely existed two decades ago, there are 26 shopping malls, seven golf courses and luxury shops selling Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs shimmer in automobile showrooms. Apartment towers are sprouting like concrete weeds, and a futuristic commercial hub called Cyber City houses many of the world’s most respected corporations.

To compensate for electricity blackouts, Gurgaon’s companies and real estate developers operate massive diesel generators capable of powering small towns. No water? Drill private borewells. No public transportation? Companies employ hundreds of private buses and taxis. Worried about crime? Gurgaon has almost four times as many private security guards as police officers.

This is one of the things I miss, as strange as it may sound. Indians have a word for this kind of creative (hasty?) problem solving:

jugaad—n. an improvised or jury-rigged solution; inventiveness, ingenuity, cleverness. Origin: Hindi, India

I’ve seen this admirable approach in many of my former colleagues and particularly in the Indian entrepreneurs I’ve met and worked with. These people remarkably know how to get things done in difficult environments.

If you are into India & fiction, I highly recommend the novel The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga, which takes place partly in modern Gurgaon.

I miss you India, see you again one day!


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