What a awesome evening I had today….

Finally got chance to meet and hear the actual people on whom so much has been written and who have literally been discussed in almost every B-school…..

The mumbai Dabbawallas were in totally contrast to what I had perceived about them. I was there in the talk organized by Murugappa Group in our corporate office and got opportunity to hear them live. The Dabbawallas were a blend of down to earth attitude to boasting  at times but always ensuring that boasting was mixed with element of humour so that it did not send wrong signals….

But they have every right to talk big about their business since they have produced results which not everyone can. I really enjoyed the dig they made on various people/associations in India that started recognizing the Mumbai Dabbawallas as great only after Prince Charles visited them. Their one short sentence that “Prince Charles is our brand ambassador” said everything without saying anything……

It is really amazing why their work was never recognized or appreciated anywhere and we had to wait till a foreign person who was no way connected with them recognized their supply system. The refusal to meet Prince Charles at Five Star Hotel and instead asking him to meet them at Churchgate station during their delivery hours when they could spend 10 minutes with him was not just surprising but showed a character and dedication towards their business. The little digs at MBAs by Dabbawallas was also equally enjoyable……..

The talk had some great things which included importance of Self-Discipline for every employee and their “Green” Tiffin service …..I really enjoyed his statement saying that the smile on your customer comes through smile from your employee and therefore if you can bring smile to your employees, the smile on customer face is 100% sure…….Dabbawallas mentioned about various Six sigma, ISO and other certifications that they got in due process but for them the real certificate of success is smile and satisfaction to every customer on each delivery. It is surprising that there are hardly any errors even though on an average one tiffin box exchanges 6 hands before getting delivered to final destination.

The most interesting part of the talk came at two seperate times. First when they shared the reason why their deliveries are never late. i.e. They dont wait for more than 10 seconds to get Lunch boxes from housewifes and the result is not just maintaining timelines but also creating a fear of Dabbawallas among Mumbai housewives. And no doubt when said that Mumbai house wife is more afraid of Dabbawallas than their husbands or any one else

Another interesting point came when Dabbawallas provided their reply to question which is frequently asked to them i.e. with being single in fashion and fast foods on rise, when do they feel their business can come to an end?

“Answer”: The dabbawalla business will never end, except the day Indian Husbands stops loving their wifes and doesn’t want home made food anymore”

No better reply than this  🙂

Long live Dabbawallas who have sustained their business for over 114 years and with third generation employees are still maintaining the same passion…..