Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The amazing Dabbawalas !

Dabbawala, (Hindi: dabba - (Lunch) Box, wala - an appelation for One who carries) is a person in Mumbai (Bombay), India, whose job is carrying and
delivering freshly made food from home in lunch boxes to office workers.

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 dabbawalas is a 113-year business run by a group of people with practically no formal education, no investment and no technology.

Management guru C.K. Prahlad had hailed Mumbai's ubiquitous dabbawalas as the quintessential masters of supply chain management.

The incidence of error with dabbawalas is 1 in 16 million transactions and this earned them a Six Sigma performance tag of 99.999999 per cent. But the irony is that the dabbawalas don't even understand terms such as Six Sigma quality or supply chain management.

In the past Prince Charles had rated the delivery service to be the cheapest in the world within the given time and the cost of such a service is approximately Rs. 10 per day for delivery and collection.

In an attempt to boost awareness about their service the Dabbawalas are going a little bit more high tech. They have set up a website and an SMS service to increase customer numbers. This has come as a surprise to many, as many of the lunchbox carriers are illiterate.

Check out the article here and the Dabbawala website


At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Bhaskar said...

"Ignorance is Bliss"..
This is very true in the case of Dabbawallahs in Mumbai.
Hope they dont get tainted by the "terms" and allures of other systems.
There are so many built-in management theories in our Indian systems,but alas they are very rarely recognised..


Post a Comment

<< Home