Navi Radjou Speaker

Navi Radjou

Author, innovation and leadership strategist, media commentator and speaker

Navi Radjou: Biography highlights

Ranked among the Top 50 world’s most influential management and business thinkers on the 2021 Thinkers50 list, Navi Radjou is an award-winning innovation and leadership scholar and bestselling author based in Silicon Valley. Drawing on his Indian upbringing, he was the first (with his co-authors) to capture the phenomenon of jugaad—a Hindi word for improvised solutions born out of ingenuity in resource-constrained settings. Jugaad is our innate “MacGyver” spirit.

Known for:

TED Speakers
Thinkers50 Speakers

Based in:


Languages spoken:

English, French

Full biography of Navi Radjou

Navi Radjou’s background

Navi’s first book, a global bestseller of the same name, Jugaad Innovation (over 200,000 copies sold worldwide), shows how companies and entrepreneurs can unleash and harness the grassroots ingenuity of employees, customers, and partners to co-create simple but effective solutions that deliver greater socio-economic and ecological value at a lower cost.

In 2013 Navi received the prestigious Thinkers50 Innovation Award—given to a management thinker who is reshaping the way we think about and practice innovation. Navi is ranked as one of the 50 most influential persons shaping innovation in France. His TED talk on jugaad and frugal innovation has garnered over 1.7 million video views.

Throughout the twenty five years of his international career—spanning the public sector to market research and then as an academic and author—Navi’s ideas have been shaped by his eclectic cultural background including his Indian roots, his French education, his cross-industry work experience in the US, and his current Silicon Valley milieu. Navi’s recent book, published by The Economist, is Frugal Innovation: How To Do More With Less (with a foreword by Paul Polman, former CEO, Unilever), shows how companies can innovate faster, better, and more sustainably in today’s customer-driven digital economy shaped by climate change. It won the CMI Management Book of the Year 2016 Award.

Navi is also co-author of From Smart To Wise: Acting and Leading With Wisdom, a book that shows how managers can hone their leadership skills to thrive in the age of smart AI and robots and lead purpose-driven organizations that appeal to Millennials and Gen Z. CEO coach Marshall Goldsmith calls the book “fascinating” and former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi views it as “a practical guide for accelerating your own wise leadership development.”

His next genre-defining book, Conscious Society: Redefining Who We Are and Reinventing How We Consume, Work, Relate, and Live, will be published in 2020. It draws on Eastern 2 wisdom traditions (Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism) and Western sciences (quantum mechanics, epigenetics, neuroscience) to show how business leaders, policy makers, nonprofit and citizen groups can expand their individual and collective awareness and tap into abundant inner resources—love, ingenuity, wisdom—to co-create inclusive, healthy, and sustainable communities that seek to maximize the well-being and potential of everyone. The book will showcase 30+ initiatives under way to build conscious societies worldwide.

Navi is curator of WAVE: How Collective Ingenuity Is Changing The World—a major exhibition on grassroots innovation and entrepreneurship produced by BNP Paribas that has traveled to major cities around the world—including Paris, San Francisco, Istanbul, Mumbai— since 2014. For several years, Navi has served on the international panel of judges for The Economist’s Innovation Awards and Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards.

Until 2011, he served as Executive Director of the Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, where he is currently a fellow. Previously, he was a longtime VP/analyst at Forrester Research in Boston and San Francisco and advised senior executives worldwide on breakthrough growth strategies. Navi has consulted with leading international firms—including E&Y, GM, Fujitsu, IBM, Microsoft, P&G, SAP, and TCS. He has served on World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

His work has been featured on NPR, BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Financial Times. He regularly writes in Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review and Fast Company. A widely sought-after keynote speaker, Navi has addressed audiences across the world in venues like the World Economic Forum, Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard, and MIT.

Born and raised in Pondicherry, India, Navi holds dual French-American citizenship. He studied at Ecole Centrale Paris and Yale School of Management. He lives in Palo Alto, California. He is a lifelong student of Yoga, Ayurveda, Qigong, and Buddhist (Vipassana) meditation.


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Watch Navi in action

1/3 videos
Navi Radjou: Frugal Innovation -- Doing Better with Less
Navi Radjou: Frugal Innovation -- Doing Better with Less
NaviRadjou Reel
NaviRadjou Reel
Navi Radjou: Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits
Navi Radjou: Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits
Forrester Research

Navi is an energetic, passionate speaker - expert in technology, business, and globalization.'

George F. Colony
IBM Global Business Services

'Navi has a rare and clear-eyed view of global markets. His ideas are truly fresh, and his delivery is filled with stories and humor. I recommend Navi to every future-facing audience.'

Christine Kinser

Navi's speaking topics

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