India's inventors practice a rough and ready style of innovation known as jugaad (pronounced "joo-gaardh") -- a simple, improvised style driven by scarce resources and focused on customers' immediate needs rather than their lifestyle goals. Now Western companies and consultants are hoping to harness jugaad to develop cheap, recession-friendly innovation strategies. "Jugaad is an Indian philosophy, but it's not unique to India," says business professor Prasad Kaipa. "Companies in all parts of the world can learn from it and make it work for them, too."

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