Dabbawallas of Mumbai

The Dabbawallas - a unique food delivery system in Mumbai. A dabbawalla means "person with a box" a Dabbawalla is employed in a unique service industry whose primary business is collecting the freshly cooked food in lunch boxes (tiffins) from the residences of the office workers in the suburbs at 9am, delivering it to their respective workplaces in the city by 12:30 pm and returning the empty boxes back to the customer's residence by using various modes of public transport, from bycicles to trains. The unreliable transport system with frequent conjestion you think would be a problem, with over 200,00 meals to delever. The Dabbawallas have a reputation of being the most effective delivery force in India.


This highly specialized trade is over a century old, founded in 1890 and which has become integral to Mumbai's culture. The Dabbawalla claim to have a error rate of  1 in 16 million deliverys, and have strong releationship of trustworthness with their clients. With the ability to reach 200,00 people a day large corporations are keen to get in on the action.