Mumbai Dabbawalas - Feeding Numerous People Everyday

On your travel to Mumbai, if you see a person wearing a white cap and holding too many lunchboxes you might wonder what will he do with these many lunch boxes? And, so many other questions can pop-up in your head.

Here in this post, we will discuss who these people are and what they do. For the first timers, these people are known as Dabbawalas.

History of Dabbawalas - Who they are

Who they are? These people are a part of the giant organization mostly known as the Dabbawalas of Mumbai. This group is working for the last 120 years. This organization was started by Mahadeo Havaji Bachche in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh in 1890. But he moved to Mumbai and started this small business- a kind of food chain.

Today it delivers thousands of lunchboxes without having any error. This is a well settled organization having very strict rules and equality for their workers. All these white cap holders are entrepreneurs in some way, and have an equal share in this organization.

What Dabbawalas Do

Dabbawalas deliver the lunchboxes to the working professionals or others who are using tiffin services either from a tiffin provider or from a restaurant.

This is a chain system of workers who work in the chain in order to deliver food at the exact time. They also deliver back the boxes to the home or the destination from where they have been picked without any flaw.

How Dabbawalas of Mumbai Works

You might wonder that in this type of chain management, errors are likely to happen.

But to your surprise even after their average literacy being of 8th grade, they are chosen for various management case studies and their management skills are discussed in colleges like Harvard and Stanford.

All these Dabbawalas are known for their punctuality and dressing sense. They collect the boxes from homes and in this journey to give them back, there are 6 various destinations where they get transferred from person to person and reach its actual destination.

The Growth

From starting this era of food chain and continuously improving their service, is their ultimate goal. From their dressing sense to their delivery, they have been adding means to improve and can make a difference in the society.

Today there are many big food delivery giants who have entered the market like Zomato or Swiggy, but Dabbawalas have their old ethics and set a remarkable milestone in delivering the food without any error.

No matter what the circumstance be, if you have subscribed to their service you will get your “Dabba” delivered on time.

Due to this kind of integrity they garnered the attention of many big names like the founder of Virgin group- Richard Branson and the Prince of England. Even their spokesperson and president of the organization was invited to the marriage of Royal couple in England.

Dabbawalas Technology Improvement

Now you can book their service through SMS and even can even visit their website to know more about them. You will find that they also work for today's technical giants like Ola, Uber, Philips and many other big organization whom you can consider the synonym of technology whether in IT or Mechanical. They are launching their app as well.

Dabbawalas Work Distribution

Every day they transfer 260,000 Dabbas only in 6 hours. They work 52 weeks of a year and more impressively have got a six sigma compliant. They get only 40 seconds to load and unload these boxes and in other local stations, time is much less-20 seconds only.

What To Learn From Mumbai Dabbawala’s

Most of these Dabbawalas have no technical knowledge or much education but they still do their work very accurately and timely. There is a lot to learn from these Dabbawalas like their integrity towards their work, how to work as team, how to manage the manpower of the business and how to use it perfectly.

For owners of a business, learning their management skills would be beneficial. If you are an employee you can learn how to work with co-workers and if you are a student you can learn how to be discipline, dedication and your punctuation can lift your levels.


The journey of these Dabbawalas is just mind blowing. For anyone traveling to Mumbai, watching them work would be a one time opportunity.

So one should go ahead and explore Mumbai and see the amazing skills of these Dabbawalas.

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