Mar 14, 2020

Jugaad epitomized: a deep dive into India’s synthetic biology scene

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Google the word “jugaad,” and you’ll find a plethora of results, from simple dictionary definitions to advice that Western companies should adopt it as part of their practices. Jugaad — a colloquial Hindi, Bengali, and Punjab word — simply means “hack,” and captures the pervasive Indian spirit of finding a low-cost — and sometimes quite resourceful — solution to any problem. If this word doesn’t make one think of entrepreneurship, I don’t know what does.

Indeed, the small-scale biotech facilities scattered all across India, offering products with extremely high adoption rates such as microbial-based biofertilizers, capture the essence of jugaad. In India, finding solutions to the problems at hand is very natural, a way of life, essentially — and any solution, especially an economically sensible one, will be readily adopted. With such a pervasive ideal, India seems like the perfect setting for synthetic biology and biotech-based innovation.

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