Mumbai Dabbawalas


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Mumbai Dabbawalas

If you are reading this and you are from India, I am sure you must have heard about Mumbai’s Dabbawalas. If you haven’t, then the Dabbawalas of Mumbai are known for running a unique logistics system of delivering home cooked food on the dot to their customers for over a century.

What’s the big deal about that?

Mumbai’s 5,000-odd dabbawalas have been in action for over 125 years now, without any work stoppages. They deliver nearly 2,00,000 lunches everyday and on time. Their unique management and operational models have become subjects of management study beyond text books for global business schools.

The dabbawalas have a Six Sigma quality certificate and a global business fan club that includes Prince Charles and Mr Richard Branson.

They have traveled to numerous prestigious institutes to speak about their  business story, their operations and logistics management.

Recently, they have taken another big step by launching their Share a Dabba campaign.

Share My Dabba is an initiative to get food left over in dabbas to hungry street children, using just a tiny Share sticker and the extensive dabbawala network. The initiative is a joint effort between Happy Life Welfare Society and The Dabbawala Foundation.

Every day, 200 thousand children on Mumbai’s streets are hungry and every day 2 of them die of hunger. The Mumbai Dabbawala’s deliver 120 tons of food everyday out of which 16 tons is left uneaten. This is where the initiative kicks in.

All you have to do is paste a sticker that says “Share”. This helps them sort the dabbas that have leftover food and then volunteers kick in and help in distributing this food to little children on the streets. Awesome!

Here’s a video explaining the same:

[youtube id=”EZC1czZofyY” width=”600″ height=”340″ position=”left”]

If you are still interested to know how the Dabbawala’s manage their daily work, here is a presentation that says it all:



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