I Deliver Lunch on Time!!! – Dabbawala

Hello Readers!!!

Ever heard of Mumbai’s Dabbawalas?  If you had ever visited Mumbai and travelled in a Mumbai local train, I bet you would have met them at least once. So Who are Dabbawalas? What they do? How much they earn? How are they managing their entire network in Mumbai? Why are they unique and special? These are the things I’m gonna share with you today in this post.

Who are Dabbawalas & What they do?:

Dabbawalas are none other than carriers of our lunch boxes from home to office and vice versa. Many think that Dabbalwalas are the caterers. But their perception is completely wrong. They are just transporting your lunch boxes to and fro. Their work is much similar to the work done by the courier guys. But I bet you they are more unique when compared to courier guys in other aspects. But Why these Dabbawalas are very famous in Mumbai? And why only in Mumbai?

When you live in a city like Mumbai, Its very hard to survive in such a crowded place. People can’t even carry their own lunch boxes by themselves in a crowded train. The other reason is that people start very early to reach their office on time. Since the local trains are crowded with people before the sun rises in Mumbai, People start to early to their offices. On an average, most of the working people start between 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM in the morning. So it’s hard time for their mother/Wife to cook food for them by waking up early in the morning. So Dabbawalas came to rescue these Mumbai people. They believe that everyone should eat their home made food because it contains not only all the nutrients but also “Love and Affection“.

When Dabbawalas Started and their Present Strength?:

The Dabbawalas started back in the year 1890. It means they have started their service when the Britishers are ruling India. But officially they got registered in 1956. The present strength of Dabbawalas is around 5000 covering 60-70 Kms every day. As per the survey, they carry 2,00,000 boxes every day. Which means they do 4,00,000 transactions(Home to office and vice versa). And the record is in last 120 years they have clean record of delivering the lunch boxes on time. On an average, every Dabbawala carries and delivers 40 boxes per day. And the surprising thing is that they are least educated but still they remember each and every address of all the 40 boxes he delivers. They never deliver a wrong box to any person. They have Group leader call “Mukadam“. He is the oldest and experienced person in the group. He manages all the activities in the group.

How much they Charge & Error Rate:

They have an outstanding results and their error rate is “one in 16 million transactions“. Just imagine how they manage and do their job with high dedication. And you’ll be surprised and awestruck when I say you how much they charge per month for doing their job. Its just Rs.300 – Rs.350($6 – $8) per month. God knows how they are doing their job to keep their customer satisfied at such a low charge. And they never did any strike for a salary hike or for any personal interest. They keep their community clean and healthy without any disturbances.

Why are they unique and Special?:

They are unique because they worship their work. They treat their customers as their Gods. They feel responsible for the food they carry. Everyone feel that they are responsible for everything that happens in their organisation. They deliver the boxes on time whatever the situation might be. Even the local trains run late in Mumbai, but still they manage to deliver on time. In a city like Mumbai, the courier guy would charger Rs.300 – Rs.400 to deliver a product. But the Dabbawalas would charge a very low price to deliver your boxes and that to without delay. this makes them special.


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