NZ’s DIY VS India’s Jugaad – so close, yet so far!!

Every Indian, when they hear the word “Jugaad” will have a smile on their face.

Click on this link to see how jugaad is done but on a serious note click on this link to see how jugaad mentality can do wonders.

Born and brought up in an environment where resources are limited with a cut-throat competition and socio-economic challenges at every step in our personal / professional life; we’ve unknowingly mastered the art of Jugaad!! We’ve grown knowing Jugaad is the trick of life.

Let’s accept it guys… and let’s shout out loud; Indians are kings of Jugaad!!!

As a consultant, I focus on migrants from various countries who are searching for jobs in New Zealand. However, if you asked a question, why jugaad? Why am I talking only India?

The answer is simple…. Because, I am an Indian.

That said, the idea called jugaad in India is known as “zizhu chuangxin” in China, “gambiarra” in Brazil and “jua kali” in Kenya. The English translation might be DIY or “make do and mend”.

So, to evade controversy and make things easy; let's read INDIA & INDIAN in this post as a ‘migrant job-seeker from a developing country’.

What is DIY & Jugaad?

Do-it-yourself or DIY is considered a defining characteristic of Kiwi identity and the New Zealand way-of-life. There’s also a home improvement advertisement making rounds on national TV boasting that “DIY is in our DNA”. In most countries DIY refers to doing your own home maintenance. In New Zealand, we DIY everything – from learning to drive a car to fixing it, from setting up the computer system to a software upgrade, from painting to gardening, from raising funds to community service, from running payrolls to people performance management. We can even DIY a company registration. We admire generalists – people who can “turn their hand to anything”.

Jugaad (alternatively Juggaar) is a colloquial Hindi and Punjabi word from India that means finding a solution to a problem against RESOURCE or TIME constraint by devising a solution that is more like out-of-the-box kinds. The solution is specific to the situation or the problem involved. A spark of brilliance originating out of unstructured innovation.

Common Grounds but Counter Conclusion:

DIY and Jugaad have so much in common like finding solutions, doing it yourself, optimising the resources and making things happen etc.…isn’t it? It should be easy for people with so much similarity to understand, acknowledge and respect each other. Or should I say, it should be easy for Indians (migrants) to impress their prospective (Kiwi) employers because there’s so much in common in terms of their attitude.

An attitude of getting things done and getting it done themselves!!

On the contrary, have you ever thought, why is it the other way round?

Why is it difficult for the majority of migrants to impress their prospective employers? (not all, but majority of migrants…why??)

Because Jugaads are of two types Positive and Negative

Positive Jugaad:

Remember the story of the thirsty crow who drops stones in the pot of water and the water level rises, and then he drinks it? These are those live-wire, switched-on migrants who have researched the market well and they know HOW to add value with their positive jugaad mentality.

Negative Jugaad:

New-Delhi the Capital city of India is experimenting for 15 days with ‘Odd-Even’ formula to bring down traffic congestion and pollution level in the city (from 1st to 15th of January 2016). Vehicles ending with odd and even numbers will run on the roads on alternate days. Click on this link to see how a quick fix jugaad is in practice on number plates.

 Developed countries and western countries look down upon negative jugaad. They think it is ‘below-the-belt’ kind of solution and is definitely on the wrong side of morality and legality. They believe such solutions originate out of resource constraints and shall never be accepted and appreciated in a resource surplus environment.

Then why do Migrants opt for Negative Jugaad?

There can be many reasons migrants opt for ‘negative jugaad’ but primarily all the reasons are directly or indirectly related to the pressure of time. Every single day that migrants are spending in NZ without a job is adding to their pressure, It’s not easy to live your life pinching on your savings day after day. On top of this many have time-bound visas; in a very less time migrants have to achieve a lot in terms of their next visa approval.


If migrants opt for taking the negative path, they lose their respect and credibility. No matter what’s the justification or how strong the reason….

What’s wrong is WRONG!!!

I am sorry to say this but many have gone this way and many more are contemplating!!

But here’s the good news, they are not the ones who are reading this post. Migrants who believe in the negative path have nothing to do with LinkedIn, Twitter or any other social media platform, they have nothing to do with learning, self-improvement, upskilling and general awareness. They know, they have deep pockets and they only seek that ONE ‘someone’ who will accommodate them and their plans.

Many have approached me in 2015 with similar expectations. When I tell them what I do…they don’t see me again!!

I am sorry guys; I am sorry to break your hearts… but I don’t GIVE you jobs!!

What I do? I TEACH you how to get a job. I MENTOR you at every step of your job-search journey. I ask you to bring out and exploit your POSITIVE jugaadu nature and showcase your value addition to your prospective employer.

That’s how, I’ve achieved whatever I’ve achieved in my career so far here in New Zealand, similarly we can see so many migrants’ success stories around us. People who had it in them and they believed in themselves, they refused to give up in front of short-cuts and temptations of negative jugaads. But as I said before; many are open and opting for alternatives…it’s so close yet so far!!

Who are you?


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