Jugaad – the good and the bad

Jugaad: “The slang Hindi verb “jugaad,” as translated for managers, means to make something much like a jugaad. It is to be innovative despite scarcity — a winning formula for hard economic times” – an Indian speciality 

The good 

the $800 elec­tro cardiogram, the $24 water filter, the $2,500 car, the $100 electricity inverter, the $12 solar lamp;

The taxis, Premier Padmini sedans built from a Fiat design in the middle of the last century, haven’t been upgraded in decades. Their maker has faded from the scene. But in jugaad’s India, this means that any one can be a Padmini mechanic, supplier or decorator; 

Unlike in the West, where you must contact Vodafone and only Vodafone for connection issues or Nokia and only Nokia for hand set woes, on India’s streets, as across the developing world, every third store is a one-stop cell-phone shop. They poke into your device with screw drivers and pens, recharging your credit, answering queries on behalf of a company they do not work for. 

and the bad

Fraudsters, who generally strike in pairs, enter ATM by swiping valid debit card at the gate, press down a key on keyboard and stick it with adhesive so that it does not return to its original position. This switches on the machine. They then walk out and wait for a victim to step into the trap. 

When a customer enters the ATM and swipes the card, he does not realize that the machine is already on. A message flashes for him to key his PIN, which he does. But since the machine has been switched on in an improper way, the screen goes blank automatically as a security feature to stop fraudulent withdrawals. 

The customer thinks it is a system fault and gives it a second try. He has no clue that the two ‘customers’ getting impatient outside are actually criminals waiting to steal his money. They start abusing him for taking too much time and force him to leave in a huff. Exit customer, enter fraudster. They simply use a screwdriver to ‘release’ the key. The ATM restarts automatically. What it has in store is PIN of the last customer who swiped his card. The gang enters the amount and walks out with cash.


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