“Jugaad” is a unique Hindi word which refers to a practice of getting required results by using whatever limited resources are available.
For us, the choice of the name Jugaad spells out our determination and attitude of making things possible in challenging circumstances, which is the philosophy we live and work by.Jugaad is about creativity, innovation and uniqueness, and it’s about an alternative lifestyle, one in which waste is turned into something useful, and beautiful.
Jugaad began creating products from recycled material in 1997 as a part of Karm Marg, a Delhi based children’s home and organisation working with disadvantaged kids.
With a group of the older children, we started our first product line using a skill that the young adults at Karm Marg had already acquired while collecting newspapers as rag-pickers around New Delhi Railway Station: the one to turn waste paper into paper bags.
Thanks to the support of Sunny, Meeta and Gurpreet from People Tree who provided us an outlet for our products, we successfully sold our first batch of paper bags, using the profits to support Karm Marg and taking our first step towards making our association financially independent.
Initially, the products were made and sold under the label of Karm Marg, but with time the need to give independence to our product line arose, so the brand Jugaad was born in 2004 as a separate entity from Karm Marg.
Though the profits from Jugaad are still used to support Karm Marg, the brand is now an independent creative manufacturer whose products are designed to compete in the general market and appeal not only to those who would buy them out of sympathy for the work of Karm Marg.
While employing young adults and women from rural areas to create our products, at Jugaad we also give them skills training, helping them become self reliant and promoting entrepreneurship. Jugaad also offers a platform for young designers, craftsmen and NGOs with similar programs to showcase and market their products.
All profits from Jugaad go Karm Marg, currently funding 50% of the NGO’s activity, to the benefit of 60 children living the Karm Gaon, 20 disadvantaged Karm Marg alumni, 150 women from rural areas and 22 staff who also come from disadvantaged background.