Mumbai’s An Entrepreneurial Success Story
1. Hisstory of Dabbawalas.
2. Some fact
3. Dabbawalas Organisational structure
4. Service marketing concept- Dabbawals
5. Demand management constraints in
6. Services marketing mix
7. Strategies adopted for sustenance.
• Started in 1890 by Mahadeo Havaji Bacche
(Mahadeo), a migrant from North Maharashtra.
• Mahadeo recruited youth from the villages
neighboring Mumbai, who were involved in
• Service started with about 100 Dabbawalas.
Three tier structure:
1. Executive committee
• No use of computer technology.
• Total Area Coverage: 60-70 Km.
• Incentive system with “equal pay for all”
• Easy coding scheme as the level of literacy
is not very high.
• Not even a single strike in over 100 years.
• World record in best time management.
• Name in “GUINESS BOOK of World
President Mukadamas Secretary
• Simultaneous production and consumption –
Mistakes by employees visible.
• GAPS Mode
• Delivering a Six Sigma performance (99.99%) =1
error in 16 million.
• Expected service - Almost no gap .
• Perceived service -Almost no gap.
• Time constrain
• 3 hour cycle each day.
• Travel during peak hours.
• Equipment constraints
• Local train are the lifeline.
• Cannot expand to other cities.
• Delivery of dabbas from home to schools/offices.
• Meals can also be prepared as per customers preferences if required.
• From June 1, 2012 Standard price between Rs.500
• Rs750 per month is followed by dabbawalas throughout Mumbai 8
• Decentralized operations
• Various centers in different parts of Mumbai.
• No. of employees:5000
• Cultural similarity-all dabbawalas belong to the same community’
• No Alcohol Drinking during business hours.
• WearingWhite Cap during business hours
• Referrals from friends and relatives
• PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
• Carrying Identity Cards
• Various centers
• Dabbawalas wear Gandhi caps which make them easily identifiable.
• P: Code for Dabbawala at railway station.
• BO: Borivil.
• 10: Nariman Point-destination station.
• 15/A/11: 15th building and 11th floor
Service Marketing Mix
At the station , a
Mukadam sorts the
dabbas according to
and arranges the
and get on the train.
The dabbawalas get
off their respective
stations where a
all the dabbas and
the dabbas are
to the area of
deliver the dabbas
office or school.
Deliveries are made
either by walking,
using a tray , or on a
collect the dabbas
from the clients and
take them to
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
• Monthly meeting with the governing council to discuss various
• Established a welfare fund to give loans, help them in medical
emergencies, for educational costs, run pilgrim rest houses,
subsidize religious pilgrimages and provide facilities for important
occasion like weddings etc.
• Provision of charitable fund.
• Income was divided equally among all members after paying for
expenses like railway passes, cycles and crates.
• No age bar for working as a dabbawalla.
• Increasing no. of fast food joints which
provide delivery facility.
• Organisations give food coupons to
• High dependency on local train.
• Next generation are not interested as
rewards are low.
• Low literacy in dabbawalas.
• Adverse weather conditions.
• Documentaries made by :
,SAHARA SAMAY,STAR TV,CNBSTV
18,CNN,SONY TV,TVTOKOYO, NDTV.
• World record in BestTime Management
with Six Sigma rating.
• Name in “GUINESS BOOK of World
4 5 6 15
• In this highly technology advanced time
‘dabbawals’ are working absolutely without
• They have an excellent supply chain , despite
the fact that they don’t even know what it
• Most of the people working with them are semi-
literate but still they read the tiffin code
correctly and deliver it.
• Their attitude of competitive collaboration is
equally unusual commitment, sense of work
ethics and unparalleled time management
system are best in place. 16
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