Mumbai Dabbawalas’ Model of Service Excellence

“Using an elaborate system of color-coded boxes to convey over 170,000 meals to their destinations each day, the 5,000-strong dabbawala collective has built up an extraordinary reputation for the speed and accuracy of its deliveries…. Impressed by the dabbawalas’ “six-sigma” certified error rate—reportedly on the order of one mistake per 6 million deliveries—management gurus and bosses are queuing up to find out how they do it.” – The Economist

“There is this thing called FedEx that is similar to ours – but they don’t deliver lunch” – Dabbawala

“The dabbawala service is legendary for its reliability. Since it was founded, in 1890, it has endured famines, wars, monsoons, Hindu-Muslim riots, and a series of terrorist attacks. It has attracted worldwide attention and visits by Prince Charles, Richard Branson, and employees of Federal Express, a company renowned for its own mastery of logistics.” – Harvard Business Review

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