There is no denying the value of a fresh, home-cooked meal. However, in Mumbai, India, it is treasured. So much so, that for the past 125 years Dabbawalas have been delivering fresh lunches direct from the homes of workers straight to their workplace. And then picking up the tiffins (lunch tins) and delivering them back home again. It sounds complicated, because it is. Today in Mumbai, 5,000 Dabbawalas are picking up, delivering and subsequently returning more than 200,000 of these home-cooked meals each working day. TWO-HUNDRED-THOUSAND!!
What’s most impressive is their accuracy. Forbes Magazine awarded its Six Sigma certification in 2001 to the Dabbawalas based on a 99.999999 percent delivery accuracy rate. And it’s all done with no logistics technology. Instead the Dabbawalas (ones who carry boxes) rely on supreme teamwork through a series of collection zones, sorting points, and delivery zones. Using numbers and colors to mark the dabbas (lunch boxes), hot lunches make their way to the right people, right on time, and back home again. Traveling on foot, bicycle and public transportation, it’s a tough road for Dabbawalas, But it is also a very proud and honored tradition.