Tiffin wallahs at your service

Mumbai Dabbawala or Tiffin Wallahs- 200,000 Tiffin Boxes Delivered Per Day
Mumbai Dabbawala or Tiffin Wallahs- 200,000 Tiffin Boxes Delivered Per Day (Photo credit: Lalit Jagannath)

People, who are skeptical about eating outside food when they are at their work place, and are very particular about eating homemade food all the time, can be relaxed. As, the tiffin wallahs alternatively known as dabbawallahs, are at their services to help them get the homemade food for lunch, in office itself. Tiffin wallahs are the people who collect the tiffin boxes from the respective houses and deliver them to the concerned receivers, at time; they also carry back the tiffin boxes back to their respective places. These people are predominantly found in the city of Mumbai, India.

Dabbawallah bicycle
Dabbawallah bicycle (Photo credit: Bgag)

The history of tiffin wallahs dates back to some 120 years ago. They have been consistently growing in numbers as well as in their performance. Impressed by the way they work in coordination with fellow tiffin wallahs, the Forbes magazine awarded them with the performance rating certification of six sigma, in other words almost 99.9999 percentage of accuracy and correctness in their working system. With almost all tiffin wallahs being illiterate, around 4000-5000 tiffin wallahs handle 2, 00,000 tiffin boxes each day, amounting to 4,00,000 transactions every day earning 4000 rupees each month.

The working system of tiffin wallahs is usually three tiered. The first tier of workers collect the lunch boxes from the houses or any other place (example from caterer), reach them to the sorting place, where the lunch boxes are sorted and made ready for deliver by the second tier of workers. The third tiers of workers collect these boxes and deliver them to the designated place and individual. This working system is globally acknowledged and considered one of the world's best networking and management system. Deriving the motivation and ideas from their working, many tiffin wallahs like services have been formed across many countries in the world.

The tiffin wallahs are strong and sincere in their working which has earned them respect and recognition internationally and they have their own charitable association which works for the poor. The skills that can be cultivated from their working system are coordination, punctuality, customer satisfaction and work with passion. They are the lifeline of Mumbai city.

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