On 12 January 2016, around 30 stakeholders from industry, academia and politics met in Hamburg to analyse and discuss the relevance of frugal innovations for German companies and society-at-large. Frugal innovations are defined as (technological) solutions, focussed on their core functions robustness, user-friendliness and affordability. This phenomenon has, so far, predominantly been observed in emerging markets. The model of frugal innovations could, however, also hold great potentials for industrialized nations, such as Germany, and other international marketplaces. The importance of frugal innovations is, as evidence shows, expected to increase for the domestic market, too.
A new paper that seeks to generate some preliminary insights on the use of inventive analogies in the process of creating frugal innovations. The paper has been authored by Rajnish Tiwari, Katharina Kalogerakis and Cornelius Herstatt and was presented at the recently-held R&D Management Conference (June 3-6, 2014) in Stuttgart.
High-tech, German companies are facing a curious problem: their products are reportedly “too good” for the expanding global markets. So in a way they get “penalised” for offering a superlative quality. At a second glance, though, this doesn’t seem surprising. For, succeeding in the emerging markets like India or China often requires developing market-specific products and services that enable an attractive value proposition without taking recourse to (excessive) over-engineering. Furthermore, the innovations should be able to cope with, and successfully circumvent, the given infrastructural restrictions ever so present in the rural and semi-urban areas in such economies.