I was invited to speak at Sparks LSE 2014 – an entrepreneurship conference organised by London School of Economics. While telling students my story of growing up in India I introduced this buzzword ‘jugaad’ which is a common word in Hindi slang but its interpretation defines the spirit of entrepreneurship for early stage startups. Jugaad means creative problem solving or makeshift solution with minimum resources. In a country of 1.2 billion people with limited resources entrepreneurship at every level in the Indian society thrives. People are constantly figuring out ways to go about their lives by adapting, building makeshift tools and services for survival.

These qualities are key for early stage startup entrepreneurs looking to build a prototype:
– build your prototype with minimum resources and make it work
– don’t worry about scale early on or building a perfect product. It’s just getting the basics right.
– getting to market and getting some initial feedback is more important than developing a multi-year launch strategy.
– get a team of doers and not Chiefs. People who will role their sleeves and add immediate value to your product build are key to your fast build.
– don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions and use shortcuts.

Jugaad mindset does help early stage product development for entrepreneurs.

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