Navi Radjou & Jaideep Prabhu

Frugal Innovation: How to do More With Less

Winner of the CMI Management Book of the Year Award 2016

A frugal and flexible approach to innovation for the 21st century that shows how leaders, in companies of all sizes and across all sectors, can profit from doing business in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

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Radjou and Prabhu demonstrate that frugal innovation is one of the most critical emerging models of value creation for both businesses and the customers they serve.

— Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO, PepsiCo, Inc.


Driven by tighter budgets and dwindling natural resources, along with new technologies and environmentally conscious consumers, Western companies are now seeking new ways to appeal to their customers. This award-winning book by innovation thinkers, Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu, lays out the key principles, perspectives and techniques of frugal innovation—the art of doing more, and better, with less.

With an estimated trillion-dollar global market for frugal products and potentially huge cost savings to be gained, frugal innovation is revolutionizing business and reshaping management thinking. This book shows managers how to profit from the great changes ahead, specifically:

  • How to achieve mass customization, using low-cost robotics, inexpensive product design and virtual prototyping software.
  • How to co-create products with empowered consumers and external partners.
  • How to implement sustainable practices, such as the production of waste-free products.
  • How to change the corporate culture to become more frugal.

Reviews & Endorsements

An engrossing masterclass from two business school 
academics in how companies can develop high-quality 
products with limited resources.

— Independent

The book is enlivened by fascinating case studies

— Financial Times

Radjou and Prabhu demonstrate that frugal innovation is one of the most critical emerging models of value creation for both businesses and the customers they serve.

—Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO, PepsiCo, Inc.

Required reading for executives who want to get to 
market faster and more efficiently while delivering what customers want.

— Beth Comstock, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, GE

Health care may be the global sector most urgently in need of Radjou and Prabhu’s insights in this book. Innovation must be harnessed to create massive, sustainable improvements in health delivery systems without crippling economic growth. Frugal innovation sets forth a compelling roadmap for delivering better care at lower cost for more people.

— Molly Coye, MD, Chief Innovation Officer, UCLA Health

Insightfully articulates how Western companies can evolve to capture opportunities presented by the burgeoning “do more with less” economy.

— Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company

Valuable insights for business leaders everywhere.

— Pierre Nanterme, Chairman & CEO, Accenture

The authors make a compelling case for a feedback-rich economy that is restorative and regenerative rather than extractive, heading for the “upcycle”. (They) are to be congratulated for their stimulating guide to the future.

— The Ellen MacArthur Foundation


French DIY retailer Leroy-Merlin teamed up with TechShop to convert their retail stores into DIY makerspaces.
Image © TechShop

“Building on emerging trends like the sharing and circular economy and the maker movement, frugal innovation enables firms to co-create high-quality products with empowered and conscious consumers.”

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