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Sunday, July 03 2022

Dubai learns business lessons from Dabbawalas - 2 min read

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Dubai: The “Six sigma” acclaimed dabba walas have attracted attention once again. From the likes of Sir Richard Branson to Bipasha Basu, they have been honoured by Prince Charles of Britain and also have been featured in countless television documentaries. 

Now its Dubais turn to celebrate the humble delivery boys of Mumbai, who bring thousands of Mumbaikars food on time, every time.

Amazing to know that, with 5,000 workers, 200,000 customers, 400,000 transactions per day, no accountant, no manager and virtually no errors; Mumbais celebrated dabbawalas are a marvel that is hard to believe and the very reason that they have been featured in television series Ripleys Believe It Or Not.

On Tuesday, they were featured in a leadership conference in Dubais most famous hotel, Burj Al Arab, where a spokesperson for the association that runs the unique enterprise took business executives and government officials through the nitty-gritties of their daily operations.

“We donot use technology, because we donot need to use it. Technology may fail but our dabbawalas donot, come rain or sunshine they are on time, every time,” says Arvind Talekar, a spokesperson for Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust. He was addressing business and government leaders at 3rd UAE Government Organisations 3rd and 4th Line Leaders Development Conference.

“The only technology we use is Mumbais lifeline, the local trains, without which we willnot been able to carryout such a huge task. Most people in Mumbai are dependent on the trains because it is the most efficient medium with great connectivity and the city is so vast, its virtually impossible to move quickly without trains,” said Talekar, who is a third generation member of his family to be associated with the delivery business.

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The enterprise as a whole is non-profitmaking, while each dabbawala earns a salary of around Rs9,000 (Dh600) to Rs11,000 (Dh730) per month.

“It is wonderful story of hardwork, grit and passion. As business leaders it teaches us a lot of lessons in time management, hard work etc. It also shows that you don’t necessarily have to go to big business schools to learn business, you can learn from anywhere if you actually wants to learn,” said Ali Al Kamali, Managing Director of Datamatrix, who organised the conference.

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