MUMBAI Dabbawala

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<p>MUMBAI DABBAWALAS</p> <p>A dabbawala; also spelled as dabbawalla or dabbawallah; is a person in India, most commonly in Mumbai, who is part of a delivery system that collects hot food in lunch boxes from the residences of workers in the late morning, delivers the lunches to the workplace utilizing various modes of transport, predominantly bicycles and the railway trains, and returns the empty boxes back to the customer's residence that afternoon. They are also made use of by prominent meal suppliers in Mumbai where they ferry ready, cooked meals from central kitchens to the customers and back.In Mumbai, most office goers prefer to eat home cooked food rather than eat outside, usually for reasons of taste and hygiene, hence the concept. A number of work-from-home women also supply such home cooked meals, delivering through the dabbawala network.[1]Contents[hide] 1 Etymology 2 1890 - Beginning 3 Supply chain 3.1 Appearance and coding 3.2 Uninterrupted services 4 Economic analysis 5 Awards, Studies and recognition 5.1 Awards / Accreditations 5.2 Studies and accolades 5.3 Six Sigma myth 6 World record 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links</p> <p>A dabba, or Indian-style tiffin box.</p> <p>Box codingThe word "dabbawala" when literally translated, means "one who carries a box". "Dabba" means a box (usually a cylindrical tin or aluminium container), while "wala" is a suffix, denoting a doer or holder of the preceding word.[2] The closest meaning of the dabbawala in English would be the "lunch box delivery man".1890 - Beginning[edit]In 1890, Mahadeo Havaji Bachche started a lunch delivery service with about a hundred men.[3] In 1930, he informally attempted to unionize the dabbawallas. Later, a charitable trust was registered in 1956 under the name of Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Trust. The commercial arm of this trust was registered in 1968 as Mumbai Tiffin Box Supplier's Association. The current president of the association is Raghunath Medge.Supply chain[edit]A collecting dabbawala, usually on bicycle, collects dabbas either from a worker's home or from the dabba makers. As many of the carriers are of limited literacy (the average literacy of Dabbawallahs is 8th grade[4]), the dabbas (boxes) have some sort of distinguishing mark on them, such as a colour or group of symbols.The dabbawala then takes them to a designated sorting place, where he and other collecting dabbawalas sort (and sometimes bundle) the lunch boxes into groups. The grouped boxes are put in the coaches of trains, with markings to identify the destination of the box (usually there is a designated car for the boxes). The markings include the railway station to unload the boxes and the destination building delivery address.At each station, boxes are handed over to a local dabbawala, who delivers them. The empty boxes are collected after lunch or the next day and sent back to the respective houses.Dabbawallas tend to belong to the Varkari sect of Maharashtra and consider Tukaram's teachings of helping each other to be central to their efficiency and motivation.[5]Appearance and coding[edit]Lunch boxes are usually marked in several ways: (1) abbreviations for collection points, (2) colour code for starting station, (3) number for destination station and (4) markings for handling dabbawala at destination, building and floor.[6]</p> <p>A typical dabbawala lunch.</p> <p>It was estimated in 2007 that the dabbawala industry was still growing by 5-10% per annum.[7]The dabbawalas have started to embrace technology, and now allow for delivery requests through SMS.[8] A colour-coding system identifies the destination and recipient. Each dabbawala is required to contribute a minimum capital in kind, in the form of two bicycles, a wooden crate for the tiffins, white cotton kurta-pyjamas, and the white Gandhi cap (topi). Each month there is a division of the earnings of each unit.Uninterrupted services[edit]The service is almost always uninterrupted, even on the days of severe weather such as monsoons. The local dabbawalas and population know each other well, and often form bonds of trust. Dabbawalas are generally well accustomed to the local areas they cater to, and use shortcuts and other low profile routes to deliver their goods on time. Occasionally, people communicate between home and work by putting messages inside the boxes; however, with the rise of instant communication such as SMS and instant messaging, this trend is vanishing. Since 1890, when the dabbawalas formally came into existence, none of them had ever gone on strike until 2011 when the members decided to head towards Azad Maidan to support Anna Hazare in his campaign against corruption.[9]Economic analysis[edit]Each dabbawala, regardless of role, is paid about eight thousand rupees per month. Between 175,000 and 200,000 lunch boxes are moved by 4,500 to 5,000 dabbawalas, all with an extremely small nominal fee and with utmost punctuality.It is frequently claimed that dabbawalas make less than one mistake in every six million deliveries.[10] However, this error rate is conservative as it is estimated from Ragunath Medge, the president of the Mumbai Tiffinmen's Association in 1998, and is not from a rigorous study. Medge told Subrata Chakravarty, the lead author of the 'Fast Food' article by Forbes.[11] that dabbawalas make a mistake "almost never, maybe once every two months" and this statement was extrapolated by Subrata Chakravarty to be a rate of "one mistake in 8 million deliveries." [12]The ABC has produced a documentary on dabbawalas [13] and Prince Charles visited them during his visit to India; he had to fit in with their schedule, since their timing was too precise to permit any flexibility. Charles also invited them to his wedding with Camilla Parker Bowles in London on 9 April 2005. Owing to the tremendous publicity, some of the dabbawalas were invited to give guest lectures in some of the top business schools of India, which is very unusual. Most remarkably in the eyes of many Westerners, the success of the dabbawala trade has involved no advanced technology,[14] except for trains (and as mentioned above, SMS services for booking).The New York Times reported in 2007 that the 125-year-old dabbawala industry continues to grow at a rate of 510% per year.[7]Awards, Studies and recognition[edit]Awards / Accreditations[edit] ISO 9001:2000 certified by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand [15]Studies and accolades[edit] In 2001, Pawan G. Agrawal carried out his PhD research in " A Study &amp; Logistics &amp; Supply Chain Management of Dabbawala in Mumbai". He often presents his results on the efficiency of Dabbawallas in various fora.[16] In 2005, the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) featured a case study on the Mumbai Dabbawallas from a management perspective of logistics.[17] In 2010, Harvard Business School added the case study The Dabbawala System: On-Time Delivery, Every Time to their compendium for its high level of service (equivalent of Six Sigma or better) with a low cost and simple operating system.[18]Six Sigma myth[edit]It has been frequently asserted that dabbawalas were awarded a Six Sigma certification by Forbes magazine. This is a myth perpetuated by the news media who inferred the accreditation from the 1998 article in Forbes.[11] In 2007, an explanation was provided by the lead author of the article, Subrata Chakravarty in a private email correspondence to Gauri Sanjeev Pathak:"Forbes never certified the dabbawalas as being a six-sigma organization. In fact, I never used the term at all. As you know, six-sigma is a process, not a statistic. But it is commonly associated with a statistic of 3.4 errors per million operations, and that is what caused the confusion . I was impressed by the efficiency and complexity of the process by which some 175,000 tiffin boxes were sorted, transported, delivered and returned each day by people who were mostly illiterate and unsophisticated. I asked the head of the organization how often they made a mistake. He said almost never, maybe once every two months. Any more than that would be unforgivable to customers. I did the math, which works out to one mistake in 8 million deliveriesor 16 million, since the tiffin carriers are returned home each day. That is the statistic I used. Apparently, at a conference in 2002, a reporter asked the president whether the tiffinwallahs were a six-sigma organization. He said he didn't know what that was. When told about the 3.4 error-per-million statistic, I'm told he said: "Then we are. Just ask Forbes". The reporter, obviously without having read my story, wrote that Forbes had certified the tiffinwallahs as a six-sigma organization. That phrase was picked up and repeated by other reporters in other stories and now seems to have become part of the folklore."Subrata Chakravarty, [12]World record[edit]On 21 March 2011, Prakash Baly Bachche carried three dabbawalla tiffin crates on his head at one time which was entered as a Guinness world record.[19]References[edit]1. Jump up ^ "In Pictures: Tiffin time in Mumbai". BBC news. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 2. Jump up ^ Pathak R.C. (1946, Reprint 2000). The Standard Dictionary of the Hindi Language, Varanasi: Bhargava Book Depot,pp.300,6803. Jump up ^ "Bombay Dabbawalas go high-tech". Retrieved 2011-09-15. 4. Jump up ^ Agrawal, Dr. Pawan. "Dabbawallahs - A talk by Dr. Pawan Agrawal". Ted X SSN Talks. You Tube. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 5. Jump up ^ Sinha, Vikram. "On the dot - a story by Vikram Sinha". Siemens - You Tube channel. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 6. Jump up ^ Mumbai's amazing (November 11, 2005).7. ^ Jump up to: a b In India, Grandma Cooks, They Deliver from The New York Times8. Jump up ^ BBC News: India's tiffinwalas fuel economy9. Jump up ^ Jump up ^ The Guardian. A Bombay lunchbox (June 24, 2002).11. ^ Jump up to: a b Chakravarty, Subrata N. "Fast food." Forbes. 10 Aug. 1998. Forbes Magazine. 21 Sept. 2013 ^ Jump up to: a b Pathak, Gauri Sanjeev. "Delivering the Nation: The Dabbawala s of Mumbai." South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 33.2 (2010): 235-257.13. Jump up ^ "Bombay Lunch Box". You Tube. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 14. Jump up ^ Amberish K Diwanji, "Dabbawallahs: Mumbai's best managed business",, November 4, 200315. Jump up ^ Accolades To Dabbawala16. Jump up ^ "Dr. Pawan Agrawal". Kaizer. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 17. Jump up ^ Ravichandran, N. (1 September 2005). World class logistics operations : The case of Bombay dabbawallahs. Ahmedabad: Indian Institute of Management. 18. Jump up ^ The Dabbawala System: On-Time Delivery, Every Time (Case 610-059). Harvard, Ma.: Harvard Business School. February 2010. 19. Jump up ^ "Most dabbawala tiffin crates carried on the hea". Guinness world records. Retrieved 2 May 2014. Further reading[edit] Shekhar Gupta, Our computer is our head and our Gandhi cap is the cover to protect it from the sun or rain, Indian Express, Walk the Talk, NDTV 24x7. Hart, Jeremy (2006-03-19). "The Mumbai working lunch". The Independent Online (The Independent group, London). Retrieved 2007-03-20. "Indian lunchbox carriers to attend the Royal nuptials". Evening Standard (London) (Associated Newspapers Ltd). 2005-04-05. Retrieved 2007-03-20. Mumbai's Dabbawala: The Uncommon Story of the Common Man, Shobha Bondre. tr. Shalaka Walimbe. OMO Books, 2011. ISBN 81-910356-1-8. The Dabbawala System: On-Time Delivery, Every Time, by Stefan H. Thomke and Mona Sinha, Harvard Business School Case Study, February 2010 (Revised January 2013)External links[edit]Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dabbawalas.</p> <p> Official website of Mumbai Dabbawala Association, Mumbai, IndiaCoordinates: 195824N 725657E / 19.97335N 72.94922E / 19.97335; 72.94922[hide] v t eMumbai topics</p> <p>History Timeline Silhara dynasty Bombay Presidency Seven islands of Bombay Elephanta Caves Banganga Tank Old Bombay Worli Fort Girangaon Samyukta Maharashtra movement Tanks Growth of Mumbai 199293 riots 1993 bombings 2008 attacks Terrorism</p> <p>Geography Flora and fauna Powai Lake Vihar Lake Tulsi Lake Thane Creek Mahim Bay Back Bay Mithi River River Ulhas Gilbert Hill Malabar Hill Salsette Island Mumbai Harbour Middle Ground Weather Beaches Eastern Suburbs Western Suburbs South Mumbai Neighbourhoods</p> <p>Buildings Architecture of Mumbai Gateway of India Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Naval Dockyard Reserve Bank of India Bombay Stock Exchange Hutatma Chowk General Post Office Shreepati Arcade Regal Cinema Mount Mary's Church Haji Ali Dargah Flora Fountain David Sassoon Library Mumba Devi Mandir Mahalaxmi Temple Prince of Wales Museum National Gallery of Modern Art Asiatic Society of Mumbai Jehangir Art Gallery Gowalia Tank Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Mahim Church</p> <p>Transport Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Mumbai Suburban Railway Central Railway Western Railway Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Juhu Aerodrome Auto rickshaw Mumbai Metro Mumbai Monorail Mumbai Skywalk Western Railway Elevated Corridor Mumbai BRTS Mumbai Urban Transport Project</p> <p>Roads Airoli Bridge Altamount Road Bandra-Worli Sea Link Carmichael Road Colaba Causeway Currey Road Bridge Dadabhai Naoroji Road Eastern Express Highway Eastern Freeway Fashion Street Hughes Road Jeejabai Bhosle Marg JVLR Linking Road Lady Jamshetjee Road LBS Marg Lamington Road Mahim Causeway Marine Drive MTHL Nepean Sea Road P D'Mello Road Pedder Road Princess Street SCLR SV Road Sahar Elevated Access Road Sion Panvel Expressway Vashi Bridge Veera Desai Road Western Express Highway</p> <p>Economy Bombay Stock Exchange National Stock Exchange of India Reserve Bank of India Mint Dalal Street Nariman Point Telecom companies</p> <p>Educationand ResearchUniversities&amp; Colleges University of Mumbai (MU) SNDT Women's University Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay (IIT-B) Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) ICT (formerly UDCT) NITIE Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS) SP Jain Institute of Management and Research NMIMS St. Xavier's College Ramnarain Ruia College DG Ruparel College Ramniranjan Anandilal Podar College of Commerce and Economics</p> <p>Schools Bombay Scottish School Dr. Antonio Da Silva High School Cathedral and John Connon School Dhirubhai Ambani International School Campion School Jamnabai Narsee School King George High School, Dadar(E)</p> <p>Institutes for Science&amp; Learning Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Nehru Planetarium Nehru Science Centre Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CBS)</p> <p>Civic Mayor Police Commissioner Municipal Commissioner Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Mumbai Police Wards Brihanmumbai Electric Supply...</p>