Mumbai Dabbawalas

India’s top brand 6 Sigma & ISO 2000 100% customer satisfaction Icon of hard work

They make sure, you eat on time…

Hello ISBR… came the energetic greeting from behind the doors and a man in white kurta-pyjama and a Gandhi cap strutted in his kolhapuris chappals with an aluminum tiffin in his hand. Enter the DABBAWALA…InternationalSchoolof Business & Research,Bangalorein association with eXample Consulting Group, Ma Foi and Blue Dart brought the success story of Mumbai Dabbawalas in form of a 2 hour session on December 6th, 2009  a day hard to forget.The early morning preparations in expectation of a guest from an organization of international repute were a bit too much for Mr. Manish Tripathi (Director, Dabbawala Foundation). A simple man in simple clothes with his extra-ordinary energy, unique way of presentation and a smooth talker walked in dot on time at 9:30. “The Dabbawalas are never late” he says.Mumbai Dabbawalas originally registered as Nutan Tiffin Service is an example of perfection with Six-Sigma and ISO certifications for quality and time management. 400,000 transactions a day without a single error, rain, shine or hail is what makes them unique. The organization has been in existence for 118 years and currently has 5000 employees (including 4 women); rather “stakeholders” in Mr. Tripathi’s words. He says this stakeholder status ensures self-discipline and total commitment from the team in which 85% are educated upto grade 4 and other 15% are grade 8 pass/fail. Mr. Tripathi himself is a Bachelor of Arts  a rarity in his line of work.Mr. Tripathi reminded us the principles of management with concepts of building a business around an existing infrastructure, using the resources existing instead of investing in new, lessons to reduce the attrition rate to practically zero and explained the importance of simplicity and clarity; the principles that Dabbawalas follow to ensure timely and accurate lunch tiffin deliveries.He argued that the lack of education among the team is what worked in their favour. There are no questions, no suggestions. Things happen as they have been happening for over a century and quality has only seen one way – UP. The self-discipline, the commitment and descending from the same forefathers are some of the “traits of DNA” he quoted for the Dabbawala secret. Above all lies the sense of belongingness and self discipline which is why at zero technological input, 100% efficiency rates and after 118 years in one of the largest and busiest cities in the world, they still make us say:

” We lived in the times of Mumbai Dabbawalas “

She‘s the Man

An interview with Jija Madhavan Harisingh

IPS, Director General of Home Guards, Karnataka


 ” Woods are lovely dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

Miles to go before I sleep.”

These are the lines by the famous poet Williams Wordsworth that have kept on motivating people for decades. Duty comes first is the motto for all the people in the uniform serving the country. ISBR Voice got a wonderful opportunity to interact with one such person who with her hard work, vision and courage has been working to improve the outlook of our society.

Mrs Jija Madhavan Hari Singh, IPS is the Director General of Home Guards, Karnataka. In spite of her busy schedule, she gave us her precious time to know more about her life.

When asked about her journey so far she told us that when she was a child, she was highly fascinated by trains and airplanes. She wanted to be a pilot or an engine driver. Just like every ordinary child she was thrilled by speed but as she grew up she felt a need to serve the society. She enjoyed reading a lot of biographies by some known writers like Albert Schweitzer, Father Diemen etc and got further motivated. She was fascinated by Hellen Keller who in spite of being handicapped achieved a lot.

When asked about career, she told us that she wanted to be a doctor but her father saw her inclination towards fine arts, dancing, writing poetry, English literature etc and felt she was delicate. Her father thought she was delicate for a profession like doctor but Mrs. Jija Madhavan wanted to do something unusual and this led her to join IPS as it’s unusual.

After clearing her UPSC exam she was called for the interview for the Central Services. She again felt Police Department is unusual for a woman. However, she convinced the interviewer by saying that, she was keen to know how cruel it can be for a woman and would like to contribute something for the society..

When asked about her achievements she fondly remembered the time when she was Deputy Commissioner Police  Traffic inBangalore, she introduced the computerized traffic lights in the city which had the facility of being programmed to work on its own.

During her tenure at the Airport Authority of India as the Incharge of Ethics Management, the value she added was remarkable.

As per her, ethics plays a very important role in governance. If the rules are not followed then it becomes difficult to maintain law and order, be it at the government level or be it in business or other aspects. In lieu with the same she conducted more than 150 programs across the country in places like Kargil, Tutticorin,Bhopal, Bangalore etc. She believes that when a person pockets a 100 rupee note, he/she should know whether it’s a clean note or not…

According to her corruption starts at home, when needs are not fulfilled by the man of the house. His wife may pressure him to give her money, jewelry etc which might lead him towards unfair means to gather money. She had sessions with General Managers of various companies to abolish the unethical means of making money.

Counting on her achievements she encountered a situation where there were two cloth manufacturing companies. One had workers and no technology and the other had technology but no workers. Mrs. Jija Madhavan played an important role in collaboration of these two companies and got them back into business.

When asked about her personal life as her husband is also an IAS officer – she laughs and says that the professional lives of the two are limited to the offices only. They don’t bring issues home. On weekends they love to play golf and spend time together.

Apart from work she has tried her hand on writing too. She has been a poet and also has authored a book on Bal Ramayan in Hindi.

Finally, as we came to an end of the discussion we requested her for a message for the management students and she quoted in her own words:

” Management is all about innovation and creativity.

All those who can keep up with their innovativeness and creativity

and continue to work hard with good ethics…”


IWAS World Games 2009 Paraolympics The big name

A international  Olympics  which  was held in India and in  namma Bangaluru, in Kanteerava Stadium for 10 days   from 22nd November to 2nd December. 43 countries participated, 657 participants from all over the world for this event. There were 11 events organized for the differently abled people. The events were Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Wheel Chair Fencing, Power Lifting, Shooting, Sitting Volleyball, Swimming, Table Tennis,Rugbyand Golf.

Our college gave a golden opportunity to some of the students to volunteer this event under Mr. Amar Singh (Vice President of IWAS). We were almost 25 students from college who volunteered. All of them were given some or the other task, some of them took the responsibility of providing information to the participants in the stadium, some of them worked for the transportation, and the rest were given 5 different hotels and the task to take of the people in the hotels and solving any of there queries.

The programme started on 22nd of November with a torch lighting by the Indian Participants. The torch lighting started at Mekhri circle and carried on till Vidhana Soudha. On the First day, in the evening we had our Karnataka C.MMr. Yedurappa inaugurating the programme and later people  and students from different school showcased our Indian culture, beauty and talent through various performance. And last but not the least the programme ended with the singer Miss Vasundara Das performance. It was really rocking where everyone shaked their legs to her songs.

From the next day the game started with athletics, swimming & so on. Each day there was medal giving ceremony for all the winners. It was very inspirational see their performance and their confidence. People without  both the legs ran equally or more faster then the normal human being. The game went on till 1st Dec and on the last day there was again a rocking closing ceremony, and on the 2nd of Dec all of them returned back to their country. All the student volunteers from our college had great experience, and few of them have shared their experience with us.

Sheeba – It was a great learning experience for me and learnt how to manage  people  in critical  situation.

Abhishek Mittal – 10 days at IWAS were the most memorable days of my life. I learnt lot of management skills. Great learning from the physically challenged people.

Gaurav Girdhar – it‘s a life time experience for me. Interacting with people from different parts of the world was really unforgetable  moment. Learnt lot of management  skills  practically. Thanks to IWAS for giving me the opportunity.

Neelam – It was great learning experience. I learnt how to manage and face  the problem with  limited resources.

N.G. Senthil Kumar – Im very happy that i worked for IWAS. I got a chance to learn about the world and people. I got the experience which will help me through out my life.

Alpana – I learnt how to play host to people from different  countries by providing them proper amenities.

V. Vaishnavi –  Everyday I learnt something different and new. It was a great opportunity of my life and can never forget for a life time. The participants inspired me a lot, I gained lot of inspiration and became more confident

Over all it was a great learning experience  for  all of  us. Tackling people who do not know English and we not knowing their language was a difficult task. But though we faced some difficulties, it was a great learning.

Thanks to IWAS and to our college who gave us the opportunity to volunteer such a big event and definitely hats off to all the player participants.

The volunteers were

Abhishek Mittal, Anupam, Anamika, Alpana, Deepak Yadav, Deena Josephine, Dharmender Kumawat, Diganta Kalita, Gaurav Girdher, Gaurav Jaiswal, Girish, Harshit Khubhet, J. Sheeba, Karthikey Pandey, N.G. Senthil Kumar, Neelam, Nirija, Nishish Shukla, Praveen, Shanawaz Ali, Shilpa S.,  V. Vaishnavi, Vineet Thakkar, Varchaswin.