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 “

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