The Wonder of Mumbai Dabbawallas
Inspiration of Management
supported by http://www.mydabbawala.com/
Introduction
• A dabbawala (one who carries the box, see Etymology), sometimes
spelled dabbawalla or dabbawallah, is a per...
(Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association)
• History : Started in 1880
• Charitable trust : Registered in 1956
• Avg....
• Error Rate : 1 in 16 million transactions
• Six Sigma performance (99.999999)
• Technological Backup : Nil.
• Cost of se...
DABBAWALLAS IN TRAIN COMPARTMENT
The word "Dabbawala" can be translated as "box-carrier" or "lunchpail-
man". In Marathi a...
APPROACH
DISCIPLINE :
• No Alcohol Drinking during business hours
• Wearing White Cap during business hours
• Carry Identi...
How do they do it…?
• Organizational
structure
Executive Committee
(5 members)
Teams of 20-25 headed by a
group leader
Ind...
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
The service is uninterrupted even on the days of extreme weather, such as
Mumbai's characteristic...
PRESIDENT
VICE PRESIDENT
GENERAL SECRETARY
TREASURER
DIRECTORS(19)
MEMBERS(5000)
MUKADAM
13 MEMBERS
PRESIDENT & GENERAL SECRETARY
NUTAN MUMBAI TIFFIN BOX SUPPLIERS ASSOCIATION
FINANCIAL DATA OF A
GROUP
1st
group –
Rs 125000 Total earnings -20 People
Rs 35000 Maintenance cost
Tiffin luggage basket ...
Awards and Felicitation
 Shri.Varkari Prabhodhan Mahasmati Dindi (palkhi) sohala – 4th
march
– 2001.
 Invitation from CI...
Some Achievements
• World record in best time management.
• Name in “GUINESS BOOK of World
Records”.
• Registered with Rip...
LOGISTICSLOGISTICS
Logistics is happening 24 hrs a day,7 days a week
and 52 weeks a year.
Logistical competency is achieve...
• Coding
VLP : Vile Parle
(Suburb in Mumbai)
9E12 : Code
for Dabbawallas at
Destination
E : Express Towers
(Bldg. Name)
12...
• Let us now look at an example of t hese
codes on t he t if f ins t o bet t er
underst and t he syst em and what it all
d...
MR. RAGHUNATH MEDGE
• 10:34-11:20 am
• This t ime period is act ually t he j our ney
t ime. The dabbawalas load t he wooden
crat es f illed wi...
• 11:20 – 12:30 pm
• At t his st age, t he unloading t akes place at
t he dest inat ion st at ion
• Re-arr angement of t i...
• I n part icular areas wit h high densit y of cust omers, a special
crat e is dedicat ed t o t he area. This crat e carri...
• 1:15 – 2:00 pm
• Here on begins t he collect ion pr ocess where
t he dabbawalas have t o pick up t he t if f ins
f r om ...
RETURN JOURNEY:
• 2:00 – 2:30 pm
• The gr oup member s meet f or t he segr egat ion as
per t he dest inat ion subur b.
• 2:48 – 3:30 pm
• The ret ur n j ourney by t r ain wher e t he group
f inally meet s up af t er t he day’s rout ine of
di...
• 3:30 – 4:00 pm
• This is t he st age where t he f inal sort ing
and dispat ch t akes place. The group
meet s up at or ig...
THE ROYAL VISIT:
• Recent ly, t he dabbawala’s had royal company at Churchgat e st at ion.
The Prince of Wales himself had...
RICHARD BRANSON CHAIRMAN VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS MUMBAI
• Sir Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Atlantic Airways,
meeting ...
Order Dabbawalas Products and services Online
MyDabbawalas.com developing a software application through which
the people ...
Order through SMS
Although the service remains essentially low-tech, with the barefoot delivery boys
as the prime movers, ...
THANK YOU
http://www.mydabbawala.com/
Presentation : Paavan Solanki
paavans@yahoo.com
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  1. 1. The Wonder of Mumbai Dabbawallas Inspiration of Management supported by http://www.mydabbawala.com/
  2. 2. Introduction • A dabbawala (one who carries the box, see Etymology), sometimes spelled dabbawalla or dabbawallah, is a person in the Indian city of Mumbai whose job is to carry and deliver freshly made food from home in lunch boxes to office workers. Tiffin is an old-fashioned English word for a light lunch, and sometimes for the box it is carried in. Dabbawalas are sometimes called tiffin-wallas. For the efficiency of their supply chain it has been claimed that this virtually achieves a Six Sigma performance rating, (i.e. 99.9999% of deliveries are made without error, he is at CMMi level 6).[1] • Though the work sounds simple, it is actually a highly specialized trade that is over a century old and which has become integral to Mumbai's culture. • The dabbawala originated when India was under British rule: many Indian people who worked in British companies disliked the British food served by the companies, so a service was set up to bring lunch to them in their workplace straight from their home. Nowadays, Indian businessmen are the main customers for the dabbawalas, and the service often includes cooking as well as delivery.
  3. 3. (Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association) • History : Started in 1880 • Charitable trust : Registered in 1956 • Avg. Literacy Rate : 8th Grade Schooling • Total area coverage : 60 Kms • Employee Strength : 5000 • Number of Tiffin's : 2,00,000 Tiffin Boxes i.e 4,00,000 transactions every day. • Time taken : 3 hrs What is NMTBSA?
  4. 4. • Error Rate : 1 in 16 million transactions • Six Sigma performance (99.999999) • Technological Backup : Nil. • Cost of service - Rs. 200/month ($ 4.00/month) • Standard price for all (Weight, Distance, Space) • Rs. 50 Cr. Turnover approx. [200,000*200=400,000,00 p.m. i.e 48 crore p.a.] • “No strike” record as each one a share holder • Earnings -5000 to 6000 p.m.
  5. 5. DABBAWALLAS IN TRAIN COMPARTMENT The word "Dabbawala" can be translated as "box-carrier" or "lunchpail- man". In Marathi and Hindi, "dabba" means a box (usually a cylindrical aluminium container), while "wala" means someone in a trade involving the object mentioned in the preceding term, e.g. punkhawala with "pankha" which means a fan and "wala " mean the person who owns the pankha (The one with the fan).
  6. 6. APPROACH DISCIPLINE : • No Alcohol Drinking during business hours • Wearing White Cap during business hours • Carry Identity Cards WOMEN: • Mrs. Bhikhubai of Borivali(East) • Mrs. Anandibai of Andheri(East) LATEST MARKETING STRATEGY: Marketing message in the “dabba”
  7. 7. How do they do it…? • Organizational structure Executive Committee (5 members) Teams of 20-25 headed by a group leader Individual Dabbawalla workload = 30 tiffins • Operations • War against Time (10.30 – 1.00) • The Code Case Study : TBSA Tiffin Box Suppliers Association
  8. 8. ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE The service is uninterrupted even on the days of extreme weather, such as Mumbai's characteristic monsoons. The local dabbawalas at the receiving and the sending ends are known to the customers personally, so that there is no question of lack of trust. Also, they are well accustomed to the local areas they cater to, which allows them to access any destination with ease. Occasionally, people communicate between home and work by putting messages inside the boxes. However, this was usually before the accessibility of telecommunications
  9. 9. PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT GENERAL SECRETARY TREASURER DIRECTORS(19) MEMBERS(5000) MUKADAM 13 MEMBERS
  10. 10. PRESIDENT & GENERAL SECRETARY NUTAN MUMBAI TIFFIN BOX SUPPLIERS ASSOCIATION
  11. 11. FINANCIAL DATA OF A GROUP 1st group – Rs 125000 Total earnings -20 People Rs 35000 Maintenance cost Tiffin luggage basket pass – Rs 180 per person. Maintenance of cycles – Rs 300 – 2 cycles per month. Maintenance of wooden boxes – Rs 100 per person . T.C , police robbery of Tiffin Rs 500 yearly. Organizational fee Rs 15 per head. Puja held per station Rs 50 per head.
  12. 12. Awards and Felicitation  Shri.Varkari Prabhodhan Mahasmati Dindi (palkhi) sohala – 4th march – 2001.  Invitation from CII for conference held in Bangalore. Documentaries made by BBC ,UTV, MTV, and ZEE TV Dabbawalla services are popular with the Indian IT developer community in Silicon Valley, California, USA In literature One of the two protagonists in Salman Rushdie's controversial novel The Satanic Verses, Gibreel Farishta, was born as Ismail Najmuddin to a dabbawallah. In the novel, Farishta joins his father, delivering lunches all over Bombay (Mumbai) at the age of 10, until he is taken off the streets and becomes a movie star. Dabbawalas feature as an alibi in the Inspector Ghote novel Dead on Time.
  13. 13. Some Achievements • World record in best time management. • Name in “GUINESS BOOK of World Records”. • Registered with Ripley's “ believe it or not”.
  14. 14. LOGISTICSLOGISTICS Logistics is happening 24 hrs a day,7 days a week and 52 weeks a year. Logistical competency is achieved by coordinating the following:  Network Design  Information  Transportation  Inventory  Warehousing
  15. 15. • Coding VLP : Vile Parle (Suburb in Mumbai) 9E12 : Code for Dabbawallas at Destination E : Express Towers (Bldg. Name) 12 : Floor No. E : Code for Dabbawallas at Residential station. 3 : Code for Destination station (E.g.. Nariman Point)
  16. 16. • Let us now look at an example of t hese codes on t he t if f ins t o bet t er underst and t he syst em and what it all denot es:
  17. 17. MR. RAGHUNATH MEDGE
  18. 18. • 10:34-11:20 am • This t ime period is act ually t he j our ney t ime. The dabbawalas load t he wooden crat es f illed wit h t if f ins ont o t he luggage or goods compart ment in t he t r ain. Gener ally, t hey choose t o occupy t he last compar t ment of t he t rain.
  19. 19. • 11:20 – 12:30 pm • At t his st age, t he unloading t akes place at t he dest inat ion st at ion • Re-arr angement of t if f ins t akes place as per t he dest inat ion area and dest inat ion building
  20. 20. • I n part icular areas wit h high densit y of cust omers, a special crat e is dedicat ed t o t he area. This crat e carries 150 t if f ins and is driven by 3-4 dabbawalas!
  21. 21. • 1:15 – 2:00 pm • Here on begins t he collect ion pr ocess where t he dabbawalas have t o pick up t he t if f ins f r om t he of f ices where t hey had delivered almost an hour ago.
  22. 22. RETURN JOURNEY: • 2:00 – 2:30 pm • The gr oup member s meet f or t he segr egat ion as per t he dest inat ion subur b.
  23. 23. • 2:48 – 3:30 pm • The ret ur n j ourney by t r ain wher e t he group f inally meet s up af t er t he day’s rout ine of dispat ching and collect ing f rom various dest inat ion of f ices • Usually, since it is mor e of a pleasant j ourney compar ed t o t he ear lier par t of t he day, t he dabbawalas light en up t he moment wit h merry making, joking around and singing.
  24. 24. • 3:30 – 4:00 pm • This is t he st age where t he f inal sort ing and dispat ch t akes place. The group meet s up at or igin st at ion and t hey f inally sort out t he t if f ins as per t he or igin ar ea
  25. 25. THE ROYAL VISIT: • Recent ly, t he dabbawala’s had royal company at Churchgat e st at ion. The Prince of Wales himself had visit ed t hem when he came down t o Mumbai. • He t ook keen int erest in t heir way of f unct ioning, expressed surprise at t heir ef f iciency and was st ruck wit h awe when he was t old t hat t hey didn’t employ any t echnology. • The prince was present ed a small mement o, accompanied wit h a
  26. 26. RICHARD BRANSON CHAIRMAN VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS MUMBAI • Sir Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Atlantic Airways, meeting the Mumbai's famed 'Dabbawalas' at their nodal point, the Churchgate Railway Station in South Mumbai, on April 1, 2005.
  27. 27. Order Dabbawalas Products and services Online MyDabbawalas.com developing a software application through which the people of Mumbai can order Dabba service online through internet. The order will be booked online and Dabba will be picked up from your home and will be delivered to office in time. Please wait , the software will be soon available. Meanwhile you may send us E-Mail us at Sales@MyDabbawala.Com with your details ( name, home address , office address , home phone , office phone , mobile number , whether you want dabba on Saturday) and He will contact you to start the service.
  28. 28. Order through SMS Although the service remains essentially low-tech, with the barefoot delivery boys as the prime movers, the dabbawalas have started to embrace technology, and now allow booking for delivery through SMS. A web site, mydabbawala.com, has also been added to allow for on-line booking, in order to keep up with the times. An on-line poll on the web site ensures that customer feedback is given pride of place. The success of the system depends on teamwork and time management that would be the envy of a modern manager. Such is the dedication and commitment of the barely literate and barefoot delivery boys (there are only a few delivery women) who form links in the extensive delivery chain, that there is no system of documentation at all. A simple colour coding system doubles as an ID system for the destination and recipient. There are no elaborate layers of management either — just three layers. Each dabbawala is also required to contribute a minimum capital in kind, in the shape of two bicycles, a wooden crate for the tiffins, white cotton kurta-pyjamas, and the white trademark Gandhi topi (cap). The return on capital is ensured by monthly division of the earnings of each unit. - Sales@MyDabbawala.Com
  29. 29. THANK YOU http://www.mydabbawala.com/ Presentation : Paavan Solanki paavans@yahoo.com

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