On Frugal Innovation
Innovation has long been viewed as the driving force of economic growth. Governments and firms from all over the world have been endeavoring to innovate. However, past studies on innovation focuses mainly on innovations from developed countries, leaving those originating from emerging countries untapped. As emerging countries are gaining more ground on the global economy, frugal innovation has attracted increasing attentions. This type of innovation focuses on the fundamental needs, spare in the use of resources, and eliminates non-essential functions to make products or services affordable for consumers at the bottom of the pyramid. An increasing number of frugal products and services have been launched by different companies and gained popularity in the market. However, past reports and studies on frugal innovation are mostly sparse and fragmented, lacking a holistic perspective. In this study, we investigate thoroughly on frugal innovation. The results indicate that organizations take actions that suit local circumstances, endeavoring to re-think and re-design their product to address unsatisfied essential needs, and thus create enough value. In addition, the thinking of frugal innovation has diffused from emerging regions to developed countries. If people increasingly emphasize sustainability and environmental issues, the lifestyle of "simple living" will be more prevalent, and frugal innovation will be even more widely accepted and praised. For all firms, it is a must to keep monitoring the rising of frugal innovation to stay competitive.