The dabbawala of Mumbai is an integral part of the lives of Mumbaikars. The dabbawallas comprising a band of about 5000 hard working men mainly from rural Maharashtra, deliver approximately 200,000 lunch boxes daily to office goers in the metropolis.
The most interesting part is that they never use any modern technology, and yet they deliver without fail irrespective of weather, riots, floods or transport failure. Their system has an error coefficient of one in 16,000 boxes making it more than the six sigma, a quality with most businesses strive to achieve.
Though a subject of many case studies in business schools in Indian and abroad, they will now be a part of the curriculum in one of world’s best B-schools, the Harvard Business School.
Professors from Harvard spent time with the dabbawallas, interacted with the employees and had a hands-on experience on how the system works.
Manish Tripathi a spokesman for the dabbawalla said “The school had prepared a comprehensive report and submitted it to us for review. The final draft is now ready. We’ll give the confirmation next week and the case study will be released in March in a big way.”
The case study will also be sold to other business schools across the globe for academic purposes.