Mumbai - city of wonders

Mumbai - city of wonders

Posted By: STAT Trade Times - February 22, 2016


It is merely a delivery truck dotting the city’s crowded vehicular landscape. The dust kicks off from the asphalt as ‘the beast’ awakens from its slumber and the wheels hit the road Mumbai, the city of cities is pulsating with life and energy. The metropolis with its heady brew of smoke, pollution, and all the so called pleasant sights and sounds; taxiwallahs chewing pan and spewing the most colourful lexicon is quite literally an assault on the senses.

The city of contrasts - Mumbai is at the heart of India’s growing economic and fiscal prowess as its financial capital. The city is strangely home to skyscrapers coupled with that of squalid slums. It is home to the largest slum as well as the most expensive house in the world. It is a city of wonders both small and big. It is perhaps the only city where you can find a handcart parked next to a Mercedez. The city is home to a 133 year-old institution known as Mumbai dabbawallas. The dabbawalas travel the chaotic congested confines of the city to pick up freshly cooked meals from customers’ homes. So precise is their system of delivery that their accuracy when it comes to timely delivery is an astonishing 99.9 percent which is also known as the six sigma effect. Travelling by train, bus and bicycle, they then sort and deliver each of them to offices and workplaces throughout the city by lunchtime – and even return the used tiffins back to the customers home for re-use. And they do so without the use of technology. This is not in any way a small operation. The dabbawala deliver an astonishing 200,000 meals across the city, every day… with incredible efficiency, and almost perfect accuracy in order fulfilment. This is the reason why they enjoy Six Sigma ratings, a measure of high process quality for their accuracy, reliability and punctuality. Western companies like Amazon and FedEx strive to achieve that kind of accuracy through advanced technology. So much so that In 2010, Harvard Business School added the case study The Dabbawala System: On-Time Delivery, Every Time to their compendium for its high level of service with a low-cost and simple operating system. Today, the only modern technology involved in the process are a website, and an ordering system enabling people to text in their last-minute orders.