Table 1

Definitions of frugal innovation

‘Frugal innovation is a new management philosophy, which integrates specific needs of the bottom of the pyramid markets as a starting point and works backward to develop appropriate solutions which may be significantly different from existing solutions designed to address needs of up market segments’.39
‘…low to medium sophistication, medium sustainability, and medium emerging market orientation’.18
Frugal innovations can target customers in any segment of the economic pyramid who are price-sensitive by choice or looking for ‘simpler’ products that best meet their real needs’.42
The affordable use of products and services that have been innovated under conditions of resource scarcity’.3
Good enough’ solutions that rely on limited and cheaper resources to face the resources’ scarcity’.45
Frugal innovation is ‘good-enough,’ affordable products that suffice the needs of resource-constrained consumers’.16
Frugal innovation refers to products and services that are developed under resource constraints’.46
Frugal innovations are products and services that focus on crucial needs, spare resource use or eliminate non-essential features in the design process’.52
Frugal innovation stems from resource scarcity: utilizing limited resources to meet the needs of low-income customers’.47
Responding to severe resource constraints with products having extreme cost advantages compared to existing solutions’.
‘Good-enough, affordable products that meet the needs of resource-constrained consumers’.
Frugal innovations are not re-engineered solutions but products or services developed for very specific applications in resource constrained environments
  • Technical novelty

  • Market novelty

  • Refers to market, rather than product or service.

Frugal innovation refers to products, services or combination of them that are affordable, sustainable, easy-to-use, and have been innovated under the resource scarcity. In general, frugal innovations are developed in and for low-income market contexts and are seen to differ from innovations in developed markets’.31
characterized by affordability, robustness, user friendliness, scalability and having an attractive value proposition’.63
Doing with more less
Principles of FI: ‘(1) engage and iterate, (2) flex your assets, (3) create sustainable solutions, (4) shape customer behaviour, (5) co-create value with prosumers and (6) make innovative friends’.
Frugal innovation is not just about redesigning products; it involves rethinking entire production processes and business models’.1
…Three attributes: substantial cost reduction, concentration on core functionalities, and optimized performance level’.19
Meeting the desired objective with a good- enough, economical means’.17
Frugal innovation is a design innovation process in which the needs and context of citizens in the developing world are put ‘first in order to develop appropriate, adaptable, affordable, and accessible services and products for emerging markets’.13
Scarcity-induced-, minimalist- or reverse innovation
By economizing the usage of resource-use and aiming for simple products and services, albeit sometimes using cutting edge technology, frugal-innovations have a lot to offer for sustainable-development’.
Frugal innovations are not only lower in cost, but outperform the alternative, and can be made available at large scale’.74
Frugal innovation is a means and ends to do more with less for more people’.7
…a means or an ends, to do more with less, for the many’.6
Frugal innovation can be defined as a product, service or a solution that emerges despite financial, human, technological and other resource constraints, and where the final outcome is less pricey than competitive offerings (if available) and which meets the needs of those customers who otherwise remain un-served’.24