People in the Western countries are used to FedEx and online delivery services that drop-ship items right at their doorstep. But in India, a century-old delivery service called the dabba wallahs, hand delivers hot meals to thousands of hungry Indians across the metropolis. One would wonder how are things kept in order by the dabba wallahs, especially that this vast network of dispatching things tends to get tricky as the demands and stops increase. You can click here to know more about the history of the dabba wallahs of India.
The Business of Working with One Billion People: How are Things Kept in Order
The dabba wallahs are a good example of working with one billion people. It is also interesting to understand how are things kept in order, given that the dabba wallahs are part of India’s “poorly educated and decentralised workforce.”
According to the Harvard Business Review, the dabba wallahs have a system whose backbone is perfectly positioned and mutually reinforcing. If one would correlate it with the Western corporate sector, it is rare for team members to do all they can to achieve that synergy.
The New York Times also observed how the dabba wallahs in Mumbai were able to intricately organise a labour-intensive operation “that puts some automated high-tech systems to shame.” And for over a hundred years, this tradition of delivering and eating home-cooked meals for lunch thrived.
The Dabba Wallahs as a Trusted Brand
If you are going to ask Neeraj Aggarwal, the Senior Director of Flipkart, the dabba wallahs are among the most dependable and trusted brands in the country. In fact, they are highly noted for their unique delivery network that has been tested by time to be smooth and reliable, and can withstand extreme conditions.
For those who are familiar with the movie ‘The Lunchbox’, it touches the dabba wallahs and how their system is fool proof. The secret to how are things kept in order is the structure and methodicalness of their process. According to Stefan Homke of the Harvard Business School, the system of the dabba wallahs is a “very complicated dance of many, many elements, including the railway system in Mumbai.” Truth be told, the railway assists the dabba wallahs in a number of ways. One of which is that the railway compels the whole network of lunch delivery couriers to run based on a rhythm.