Frugal Services Innovation—Lessons from the Emerging Markets and an Adoption Framework for First-World Corporations and Governments

  • Shankar SivaprakasamEmail author
  • Ravi Srinivasan


Since the outbreak of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), businesses and governments in developed economies are more focused on a single metric than ever before: sustainable affordability. The survival depends on cutting back on the wasteful ways of the past, and is an opportunity for reinvention through, perhaps, creative destruction (Schumpeter and Backhaus 2003). Consequently, an opportunity to learn and adopt more frugal and sustainable ways in innovating has emerged. In this chapter, we provide a framework based on lessons in frugal innovations derived from emerging market experiences. Frugal innovation results in affordable products and services through minimizing the use of resources or by leveraging them in new ways (Govindarajan and Ramamurti 2011; Bound and Thornton 2012; Radjou et al. 2012). The lessons from successful frugal innovations in emerging countries are important—they provide a continuous and sustainable innovation approach—and help businesses and governments in the developed economies stay relevant to their stakeholders. Besides, more inclusive services innovation—as seen in examples from India, China, Africa, and other emerging countries, may ultimately ensure established businesses have a way of providing “good enough” service experiences, at low cost, and more importantly, in shortest time to benefit.


Innovation Service innovation Frugal innovation Disruptive innovation Low-end innovation “bottom of pyramid” (BOP) innovation Reverse innovation Frugal services innovation Global financial crisis (GFC) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Technology SydneyUTS Business SchoolUltimoAustralia
  2. 2.R Vass & AssociatesNew DelhiIndia

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