Impressed by Indian engineers’ ability to innovate efficiently and quickly under resource constraints, Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, coined the term “frugal engineering” in 2006. Ghosn has some best practices for CEOs who must deliver more value to customers at less cost. First, over-engineering products is no longer sustainable. Firms need to create “good enough” products that deliver high value for the money. Second, a healthy rivalry among the competition can spur creativity and lead to industry savings. Third, develop partnerships in emerging markets that already are innovating more with less. Fourth, although it’s not just about doing more with less. Top executives must learn how to innovate under tough constraints and turn adversity into opportunities for growth.
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