The Wonder Of Dabbawallas Unfolded

‡ What is NMTBSA? (Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association) ‡ History : Started in 1880 ‡ Charitable trust : Registered in 1956 ‡ Avg. Literacy Rate : 8th Grade Schooling ‡ Total area coverage : 60 Kms ‡ Employee Strength : 5000 ‡ Number of Tiffin's : 2,00,000 Tiffin Boxes i.e 4,00,000 transactions every day. ‡ Time taken : 3 hrs

Space) ‡ Rs.00/month) ‡ Standard price for all (Weight.m. Distance.a.000*200=400. 50 Cr. ‡ Cost of service . 200/month ($ 4.e 48 crore p.] ‡ ³No strike´ record as each one a share holder ‡ Earnings -5000 to 6000 p. i.999999) ‡ Technological Backup : Nil.000.‡ Error Rate : 1 in 16 million transactions ‡ Six Sigma performance (99. [200. Turnover approx.m. .Rs.00 p.


Bhikhubai of Borivali(East) ‡ Mrs. Anandibai of Andheri(East) LATEST MARKETING STRATEGY: Marketing message in the ³dabba´ .APPROACH DISCIPLINE : ‡ No Alcohol Drinking during business hours ‡ Wearing White Cap during business hours ‡ Carry Identity Cards WOMEN: ‡ Mrs.

30 ± 1.00) ‡ The Code Executive Committee (5 members) Teams of 20-25 headed by a group leader Individual Dabbawalla workload = 30 tiffins .Case Study : TBSA Tiffin Box Suppliers Association How do they do it«? ‡ Organizational structure ‡ Operations ‡ War against Time (10.




FINANCIAL DATA OF A GROUP 1st group ± Rs 125000 Total earnings -20 People Rs 35000 Maintenance cost Tiffin luggage basket pass ± Rs 180 per person. Puja held per station Rs 50 per head. Maintenance of wooden boxes ± Rs 100 per person . . T. Organizational fee Rs 15 per head. Maintenance of cycles ± Rs 300 ± 2 cycles per month. police robbery of Tiffin Rs 500 yearly.C .

Awards and Felicitation Prabhodhan Mahasmati Dindi (palkhi) sohala ± 4th march ± 2001. MTV. and ZEE TV .  Shri.Varkari  Invitation from CII for conference held in Bangalore.UTV.  Documentaries made by BBC .

‡ Name in ³GUINESS BOOK of World Records´.Some Achievements ‡ World record in best time management. . ‡ Registered with Ripley's ³ believe it or not´.

Logistical competency is achieved by coordinating the following:  Network Design     Information Transportation Inventory Warehousing .7 days a week and 52 weeks a year.LOGISTICS Logistics is happening 24 hrs a day.

3 : Code for Destination station (E. Nariman Point) .g.‡ Coding VLP : Vile Parle (Suburb in Mumbai) 9E12 : Code for Dabbawallas at Destination E : Express Towers (Bldg.. E : Code for Dabbawallas at Residential station. Name) 12 : Floor No.

‡ Let us now look at an example of these codes on the tiffins to better understand the system and what it all denotes: .


The dabbawalas load the wooden crates filled with tiffins onto the luggage or goods compartment in the train.‡ 10:34-11:20 am ‡ This time period is actually the journey time. . they choose to occupy the last compartment of the train. Generally.

‡ 11:20 ² 12:30 pm ‡ At this stage. the unloading takes place at the destination station ‡ Re-arrangement of tiffins takes place as per the destination area and destination building .

a special crate is dedicated to the area. This crate carries 150 tiffins and is driven by 34 dabbawalas! .‡ In particular areas with high density of customers.

.‡ 1:15 ² 2:00 pm ‡ Here on begins the collection process where the dabbawalas have to pick up the tiffins from the offices where they had delivered almost an hour ago.

RETURN JOURNEY: ‡ 2:00 ² 2:30 pm ‡ The group members meet for the segregation as per the destination suburb. .

since it is more of a pleasant journey compared to the earlier part of the day. . joking around and singing. the dabbawalas lighten up the moment with merry making.‡ 2:48 ² 3:30 pm ‡ The return journey by train where the group finally meets up after the day·s routine of dispatching and collecting from various destination offices ‡ Usually.

The group meets up at origin station and they finally sort out the tiffins as per the origin area .‡ 3:30 ² 4:00 pm ‡ This is the stage where the final sorting and dispatch takes place.

The prince was presented a small memento. expressed surprise at their efficiency and was struck with awe when he was told that they didn·t employ any technology. a Gandhi topi and a trophy by the dabbawalas. The Prince of Wales himself had visited them when he came down to Mumbai. the dabbawala·s had royal company at Churchgate station.THE ROYAL VISIT: ‡ Recently. He took keen interest in their way of functioning. accompanied with a garland. ‡ ‡ .


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