Berkeley Haas undergraduate students who took “Open Innovation in Emerging Economies” focused on the topic of Frugal Innovations or Jugaad Innovations. This innovation represents products and services that are offered at low cost/high quality, creating “Value for Many” vs. “Value for Money” with models that are more relevant to the majority of customers in the emerging markets. Jugaad models were created in India and have the potential to disrupt the high margin business models in the developed world. They promote sustainable approaches to preserve our planet in addressing some of the world’s grand challenges.

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Open Innovation in India

Bangalore is India’s Silicon Valley, a vibrant innovative hub for all IT/electronics related developments. It attracts a rich pool of professionals, top research centers, and clinical partners. It is also in close proximity to rural regions allowing access to study several frugal innovations at work in Indian villages.


Students visited Apollo HospitalS, a local clinic that provides free healthcare services. The students were able to witness a real-time tele-medicine conference with Apollo Hospitals doctors. Doctors explained the effectiveness of tele-medicine, particularly for people living in rural areas. Tele-medicine models allowed for more frequent patient appointments without replacing regular patient care. The students exposure to the work of Apollo Hospitals left a deep impression, and a greater understanding of how low-cost business solutions can be used in large-scale business models.


The DREAM:IN workshop with Indian MBA students

Students shared ideas to come up with a sustainable and profitable business model that incorporates open innovation. They exchanged insights with local Indian MBAs on business model innovation ideas.


Haas alumni welcome 
Mr. Rakesh Singh, Citrix director, gave students an overview of India’s current business and socioeconomic landscape. Singh spoke about India’s current transition – in education, the younger generation is increasingly becoming more aware and convinced of the significance of literacy.

The challenge: “How can companies successfully and profitably operate in the Tumkur District?”

The Haas group delivered their final presentations to a panel of executives spanning from Apollo Hospitals to design institutions at IDIOM. In the Tumkur District, approximately 67% of the population lives in rural villages. Haas Students, divided into six groups and proposed business models to address the main points of the Tumkur District. The six teams presented their business models and innovative solutions for how they would start new companies in the district of Tumkur.


The ideas ranged from a company that helps the entire fishing industry run more smoothly and make fish healthier; a trash collecting firm that works with recycling companies to create reusable materials; and establishing tele-medicine units in
rural areas that lack access to healthcare services.