Dabbawalas of Mumbai are well known worldwide. They collect lunch box (dabba) from the residence of a customer or mess and deliver it at his/her work place without any delay and without any error (no wrong delivery). It is surprising to note that before the introduction of mobile phones, two way communication was used by customers through written messages in their dabbas. Also Dabbawalas are invited by Management/educational institutes , private & multinational organizations, government and semi government organizations to give lectures about their service with dedication, teamwork and hard work. (The above photograph is from Dabbawala website)
Some interesting information available on Dabbawalas are:
- Started in the year 1890.
- Only available at Mumbai.
- Reliable service – no strike.
- 100% customer satisfaction.
- Charges vary from INR 250 to 500 per month depending upon the location.
- Six Sigma certified.
- ISO 2000 certified.
- Uses no fuel: uses public transportation – Mumbai local train network and by bicycle/walk.
- Uses no modern technology.
- About Dabbawallas:
- Education: 85% are illiterate; remaining 15% have studied up to 8th standard.
- Distance covered: 60 to 70 Km.
- Total strength: 5000 Dabbawalas.
- Number of dabbas handled in a day: 2,00,000 (transactions 2 x 2,00,000).
- Time taken: 3 hours.
- Salary per month: INR 4,000 to 5,000 per Dabbawala.
- Each Dabbawala collects 35 dabbas from the residence/mess, delivers at workplace and returns empty dabbas to residence/mess.
- 25 to 30 Dabbawalas operate under a group leader; in one segment there are more than one group.
Here is how each dabba is coded with colour markers to ensure error free delivery/collection.
View an interesting video clip: Mumbai lunch on wheels – 25 Dec 09
For more details, log on to Dabbawala.