The Mumbai dabbawals story started during the British raj, when Mumbai (then Bombay) became a business hub and people started migrating to earn their livelihood. In those days there was no canteen facility available so people used to carry their own Tiffin, but usually when they would start from home the Tiffin would not be ready. At first it cost the customer Rs.2. from that humble start this business has turned into a Rs.50 crore(approx.) industry. The dabbawalas started in 1890 but their Nutan Charity Trust was registered in 1956. They have a unique coding system which enables them to deliver the Tiffin at the right place, earlier they used to use thread of different colour to mark the seven islands of Mumbai, now with time they have turned to coloured markers for writing codes. It is basically a multilevel coding with reference to the area, building and the floor, and this code followed in reverse traces back the Tiffin to the home. The whole group of the dabbawals is divided into 3 basic level teams: * Secretaries
* Then in the hierarchy comes the Mukadams
* Then there are dabawalas
The total work force is barely literate, and uses almost no technology for work and has a very low investment of only about 6.4% of their total earning in this business, which makes them lowest investment group in the supply chain logistics. They have strict dress and behaviour code ls the dabbawalas area wise they sit together and have lunch, this comes from their belief that a family that eats together remains together, this is one of the reasons why do they have low attrition rate and why dabbawalas don’t change the team frequently. Their team can be called a task team as they come together for some time daily to do this specialized task and then return back, most of the dabbawalas are engaged in more than one business activity. With ever evolving technology the challenges they face is also increasing and there is need for them to bring in some...
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