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The Wonder Of Dabbawallas Unfolded. What is NMTBSA? (Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association) History : Started in 1880 Charitable trust : Registered.

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Presentation on theme: "The Wonder Of Dabbawallas Unfolded. What is NMTBSA? (Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association) History : Started in 1880 Charitable trust : Registered."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Wonder Of Dabbawallas Unfolded

2 What is NMTBSA? (Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association) History : Started in 1880 Charitable trust : Registered in 1956 Avg. Literacy Rate : 8 th 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

3 Error Rate : 1 in 16 million transactions Six Sigma performance ( ) Technological Backup : Nil. Cost of service - Rs. 200/month ($ 4.00/month) Standard price for all (Weight, Distance, Space) Rs. 50 Cr. Turnover approx. [200,000*200=400,000,00 p.m. i.e 48 crore p.a.] “No strike” record as each one a share holder Earnings to 6000 p.m.


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

6 How do they do it…? Organizational structure Executive Committee (5 members) Teams of headed by a group leader Individual Dabbawalla workload = 30 tiffins Operations War against Time (10.30 – 1.00) The Code Case Study : TBSA Tiffin Box Suppliers Association




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

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

12 Some Achievements World record in best time management. Name in “GUINESS BOOK of World Records”. Registered with Ripley's “ believe it or not”.

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

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

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


17 10:34-11:20 am This time period is actually the journey time. The dabbawalas load the wooden crates filled with tiffins onto the luggage or goods compartment in the train. Generally, they choose to occupy the last compartment of the train.

18 11:20 – 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

19 In particular areas with high density of customers, a special crate is dedicated to the area. This crate carries 150 tiffins and is driven by 3-4 dabbawalas!

20 1:15 – 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.

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

22 2:48 – 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, since it is more of a pleasant journey compared to the earlier part of the day, the dabbawalas lighten up the moment with merry making, joking around and singing.

23 3:30 – 4:00 pm This is the stage where the final sorting and dispatch takes place. The group meets up at origin station and they finally sort out the tiffins as per the origin area

24 THE ROYAL VISIT: Recently, the dabbawala’s had royal company at Churchgate station. The Prince of Wales himself had visited them when he came down to Mumbai. He took keen interest in their way of functioning, expressed surprise at their efficiency and was struck with awe when he was told that they didn’t employ any technology. The prince was presented a small memento, accompanied with a garland, a Gandhi topi and a trophy by the dabbawalas.


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