Mumbai Dabbawala - Document Transcript

1. IILM Institute for Higher Education School of Business PROJECT Business Research Mumbai Dabbawalas Abhishek Tewari IILM Gurgaon (Pgp 2007-2009) Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 2. INTRODUCTION • A dabbawala (one who carries the box), sometimes spelled dabbawalla, tiffinwalla, tiffinwalla or dabbawallah, is a person in the Indian city of Mumbai whose job is to carry and deliver freshly made food from home in lunch boxes to office workers. Tiffin is an old- fashioned English word for a light lunch, and sometimes for the box it is carried in. Dabbawalas are sometimes called tiffin-wallas. For the efficiency of their supply chain it has been claimed that this virtually achieves a six sigma performance rating (i.e. 99.99% of delivery are made without error, he is at CMMi 6). • 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 dabbawala originated when India was under British rule: many Indian people who worked in British companies disliked the British food served by the companies, so a service was set up to bring lunch to them in their work place straight from their homes. Nowadays Indian businesses are the main customers for the dabbawalas, and the service often includes cooking as a delivery. Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 3. What is NMTBSA N -Nutan M - Mumbai T -Tiffin B -Box S -Suppliers A -Association The origin of the dabbawalas’ lunch delivery services dates back to the year1890. Mahadeo Havaji Bacche, amigrant from Pune district (North Maharashtra) started this lunch delivery service. At that time, people came from different states and form different communities migrated to Mumbai for work. At working place there were no canteens or fast food centers and they did not bring their lunch from home. Besides, different communities had different food habits, tastes and preferences which could only be satisfied by a home made meal. Recognizing the need, Mahadeo started this lunch delivery service. In his business, Mahadeo recruited young men from the villages neighboring Mumbai (generally Pune district and adjoining areas), who had no formal education or technical efficiency to get work in the city. There were 100 dabbawalas at the Commencement of the service and charged the client Rs. 2 per month. Gradually, the number of dabbawalas increased. In 1950, dabbawalas were delivering 1, 00,000 lunches per day. After the death of Mahadeo they became organized in 1954 and formed Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers’ Charity Trust. The trust had branch offices in different parts of the Mumbai such asChembur, Dadar, Ghatkopar etc. In 2005, 5000 dabbawalas are delivering around 2, 00,000 lunches per day. Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 4. Objectives The main objectives are: (i) To examine how the dabbawalas operate; (ii) To study how Operations Management Dabbawalas of Mumbai perform an amazing role in procurement and distribution of tiffins to their clients from which one can learn many critical issues of supply chain, distribution and logistic management. This paper mainly dwells on the examination of their operations and achievement of almost zero-fault performance including their problems and prospects in this changing environment of their business. They work as a team to

• Threat of a new substitute product or service: No substitutes to home cooked food in Indian scenario. from each member to maintain a welfare fund.300 p. 15 p.m. achieve a common goal with a cent percent accuracy and (iii) To explore the problems and prospects of the dabbawalas’ services in the light of Changing environment. crates etc. educations expenses for children. new dabbawala needs to pay a certain amount to the trust. • Bargaining power of buyers: Delivery rates are so nominal (about Rs 300 per month) that one simply wouldn't bargain any further. from this welfare fund. to settle disputes. including loan facilities for emergencies. to keep records of payment. The trust provides various services to its members. The trust Collected Rs.m. after meeting all expenses like railway monthly ticket. & time association management • Limited Access to • Low operation cost Education • Customer satisfaction • Low Attrition Rate Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) . As there is no retirement age. Newcomers who want to become dabbawala are initially hired on a salary. 6. health care etc. Now the Dabbawalas are charging customers Rs. To become profit sharing member of the trust. its President.5. SWOT Analysis Strengths: Weaknesses: • Simplicity in • High dependability on organization with local trains Innovative service • Coordination. Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) PORTERS FIVE FORCE THEORY • Competition: Its difficult to replicate their supply chain network • New entrants: Fast food joints as well as office canteens. to search new customers and train new dabbawalas. Secretary . 7. Each group is financially independent but work together in the delivery process. dabbawalas discussed their problems and business policies. Each dabbawala receives Rs. team • Funds for the spirit. Each dabbawala is guaranteed to receive a monthly income and employment for life. Each group is supervised by 4 mukadams. Each group serves its own customers without hampering the interests of other. hence threat to the dabbawalla service is not an issue at least in the foreseeable future. Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) Levels of Management: The Trust is a co-operative body having three levels of management. Total monthly collection is shared equally among the members of the group. rent for handcarts. 6000 p. • Bargaining power of sellers: Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) Minimum infrastructure and practically no technology is used. The Governing Council (also called as Panch Committee) holds meetings on the 15th day of every month. 250 to Rs. level: (ii) Mukadams (team leaders or supervisions)–middle level (iii) Dubbawalas – lower level. the dabbawallas' core offering remains unchallenged. after evaluating their performance they are offered membership (shareholders) of the trust and assigned to one of the groups. Mukadams and dabbawalas are entitled to attend the meetings. 5000 to Rs. 8. hence they are not dependent on suppliers. Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) Mukadams supervise to sorting dabbas (tiffin box). for their services.m. At These meetings. (i) The Governing Council. However. he may work as long as he is physically fit. The dabbawalas are organized in 15 to 20 members groups. since neither of these serve home food.

(2.20) • Unloading and sorting at destination station.30pm Andheri Andheri Stn Church Gate Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 11. Tiffins are Collected from homes & taken to nearest Railway Station.20am-12. faultless delivery. Till the time people will feel hungry their business will keep growing.48pm-3.99%) Six Sigma quality rating helps the organization streamline their delivery systems. C. so that single tiffin could change hands 3 to 4. • For 4 days they travelled with Dabbawala collecting various data. They are not night bird.(12.30pm-1. Flow Logic of Distribution Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 10.30pm 12. • After few days there was news in Times of India that Mr.30pm) • Sorting and delivery of empty Dabba at residential station.15pm-2. which indicates the originating address & station and the destination station & address. K. Mumbai dabbawalas deliver mainly during day time.30pm) • Lunch time. Every year their business grows by 25000 to 30000 tiffin boxes.30pm 1. Around 5000 dabbawalas deliver about 200. Times in the course of its daily journey.34am-11. They have started advertising on dabbas by putting stickers on them. But they receive international recognition after 115 years of glorious service.Nararyan and Dabbawals got six sigma (error rate is 1 in 16 million Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 13. R .000 tiffin boxes to factories and offices across Mumbai with high labour intensive and with almost zero technology inputs. Actually they grow annually by about 10%.• Pick up Dabba from Residence and bring it to Andheri ( between 9. ( between 10. Then they are sorted out for areawise distribution.( 1. They use both alphabets and numbers to identify dabbawala. building and floor.48pm3. This service is available in every working day and whenever the local trains run in Mumbai & Suburban because it is their primary mode of transportation.15pm-2. transactions and six sigma performances is 99. The codes help each dabbawala to identify and fulfill his responsibility.30pm) • Return Journey. They lose a few customers too each year but are more than compensated with the additions.30 am) • Journey by Local train.34 am-11. eliminate errors and achieve a cent percent accuracy.30 am -10. Six Sigma Certification by Forbes Group • 4 students from Delhi visit Dabbawala office to do project under Mr.30am10. This brings in extra income. 2. ( 11. the tiffin boxes’ .20am 11.30am 10. These codesare understood by the dabbawalas and no one else. Opportunities Threats • Indirect competition is • Wide range publicity being faced from • Operational cost is low caterers like maharaja • Catering community • Indirect threats from fast foods and hotels • Change in timings • Company transport • Ticket restaurant HOW THE DABBA IS DELIVERED The entire system depends on TEAMWORK and meticulous timing. 9. The mode and the way of transportation are:.20am-12. But India shifts to a 24 hours X 7 days work culture. They use colours and code markings to ensure Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 12. Prahlad.9. station.K Prahlad met President Mr. C. The code is painted on the lid of the dabba.30pm-1pm) • Collection of empty Dabba and sorting at destination station.00pm Return Journey All Destination Station Lunch Time The Color Coding of Dabbas 3.30pm-4pm At all original station The dabbawalas have developed their unique coding system.K. Their coding system is very interesting.

7. • No Big Office to maintain. Bulid your services around existing infrastructure. 2. • No IT or HR department. 9. • After that.all low cost. • No IT budget and no miscellaneous expenses. • Problem with Boss and wife. Abandon Bad customers. • If required develop product & services around core competency. Just serve your customer-Nothing Else • Dabbawalas always deliver food on timeeven during heavy rains. Keep Capital investment bare minimum. • Many food companies in Mumbai use their own infrastructure which is tough to maintain and costly as well.only incoming. • Dabbawala collection is group wise but transport is shared with other group. 4. • Website & SMS used to get more customer and give information. • But logistics is still manual.then for 2-3 days the time is given to adjust. Competition is only up to collection. 5.Fuel is free air ( God given Fuel) • Use public space for sorting. Dabbawalas did not touch technologyyet got six sigma and ISO. 11. out of six sigma that Dabbaswala got. • When Dabbawala knocks the door. • Effort to sell FMCG and other products through Dabbawala system failed.word of mouth publicity. • Still they are able to offer world class services as they are committed to offer food to customer on time. then Big problem. Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 14. • Today mobile phones are mostly used to communicate. • Only investment is the hard work. • Easy to maintain cycles. • On time without wearing a watch. • Dabbaswala use reliable. fast. • World‘s most democratic organization. the services are stopped as it . • Be. Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 16. • So that the delivery of Dabbas to clients is not affected. should be given to local trains system. • There are 2-3 Dabbawala group in each segment. Richard would also work under the moon and stars.“Master of one trade rather than jack of all”. • If not. • If vegetarian gets non vegetarian Dabba. Know the implication of Failure • If food is not delivered on time then customer will be angry and work will suffer. • He spent around 20 minutes with Dabbawala. • Knowing the implication of failure makes you more responsible and serious towards your work. • Average monthly service cost Rs. honesty. • Low cost offices. • If commitment is there. • Building new infrastructure increase cost to server. • Virgin Group chairman. • He was told to come to church gate station to meet Dabbawalas. hand cart. Never Deviate From your Core Competency • Dabbawala are only in the business of delivering home made food to offices. Keep Operational costs as low as possible • Dabbawala use cycle. 3. Co-operation inside. • Profit is shared equally within each group after deducting expenses. local train. • No Ad budget. traveled with Dabbawala and delivered Dabba to his own employee. 6. then qualification can be built. the Dabba should be ready. Commitment Matters. Customer is not the RAJA – But Maharaja • England King Prince Charles met Dabbawala on 4th Nov 2003. Management Learning from Dabbawala 1.Qualification Doesn’t • About 85% of Dabbawalas are illiterate. • 15% are class 8 failed. promptness and time management. efficient and cheap existing local train for transportation. 10. • Very cheap hand cart.Competition Outside.250. • 3 sigma. • They do not try impress or bother customer with unsolicited offer. • Bothering customer with unsolicited offer forces them to discontinue even existing services. 8. Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 15. Do not be over Dependent on Technology • For 116 years.

Berkeley Radio: • German Radio Network. What a wonderful service they provide. ♣ Registered with Ripley's “ believe it or not”. • Bad customers affect the operation and profitability from existing customers. People cannot believe that uneducated people can provide such an efficient service.. if Dabbawala does not change then he is expelled from the system. The trust shows how these illiterate or semiliterate dabbawalas have mastered the art of logistics management. TV TOKYO. Radio City ♣ World record in Best Time Management with Six Sigma rating. • 5000 Dabbawalas remember the address of 2 lack customers by heart. NDTV. K. Included in a subject in Graduate School of Journalism University of California. So they . CNBC TV 18. • After giving a few warnings. • Most have been serving for about 30 years+ on average. While there are thousands of die-hard customers. The food from caterers are still small segments of the total operation. TV TODAY. rapid urbanization.Just-in-time management. • Discipline is one of the main reasons of Dabbawala success. Achievements Documentaries made by : Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 17. Conclusion The concept of ‘dabbawala’ comes into picture in one of India’s big and busiest cities– where people can enjoy the fresh homemade lunch every day. MTV. Do Not Transfer Your Employees Very often. Prince Charles of England on 9th April. 12. the dabbawala delivers not only homemade food but also Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 18. Actually the uneducated have an ability to memorize and retain more as opposed to the educated who are used to writing down everything.informing leave and misbehaving with customers. ♣ Name in “GUINESS BOOK of World Records”. AAJ TAK. Radio Mid-day. 2005. Most people want to eat homemade food in the offices without the bother of having to carry a cumbersome tiffin box. supply chain Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) 19. increasing personal transportation and availability of different kinds of fast food have drawn a good chunk of the younger generation away from the home made food. • BBC . ZEE TV. FM – Gold. • If Not penalized for non compliance then what are the rules for? 13. SONY TV. Knowing this very issue the trust do not bother about the competition. team work and problem solving.) are amazed that uneducated dabbawalas can carry out such type of business so accurately. ♣ Participated in “Deal Ya No Deal Contest” by Sony Entertainment Television ♣ Invited for marriage of Hon. Their main aim is customer satisfaction. CNN. • So customers trust them. customer service. It is not just a service but a vocation. BBC Radio. not pre. Today. Mac Donald’s etc. Italy etc. management. Radio Mirchi. But there is an increasing number of people who are health conscious and feel that home cooked food suits their stomach and health. • Fully know the needs of their customers. SAHARA SAMAY. Penalize Employees for non compliance • Dabbawalas are penalized for not wearing Gandhi Topi.UTV. Even some customers now send water along with their tiffins. picks up food from caterers and delivers them to offices.affects the services to other customer. Even people of foreign countries (like U. STAR TV. ♣ Problems & Prospects The trust faces the cut-throat competition from the growth of fast food centers like Pizza Hut. CASE STUDY made by : • ICFAI Press Hyderabad & Bangalore • Richard Ivey School of Business – Canada • Also.

He was the first celebrity who visited them. but Prince Charles was the first famous person who met the dabbaswala and encouraged them Hard work and sincerity of dabbawalas are the two main factors to reach such levels of efficiency with such an untrained work force. Megde said “Many people talk about us.” The white–capped. R. Prepared By Abhishek Tewari (April 2008) . but it was Prince Charles’ meeting with them in Mumbai in November 2003 that really helped them. They got six sigma rating of highest operational efficiency without using any paper work or computer.claim that “our head is our computer and Gandhi cap in the computer covers to protect it from the sun or rain. white–shirted dabbawalas shot the limelight when they were awarded the six sigma rating.