Founded in 1890, the dabbawalah system is now the largest serving supply chain in India. In simple terms, a dabbawallah is a person in Mumbai who is a part of a service industry which involves collecting tiffins from households of office workers and delivering them to their respective workplaces and returning the empty tiffins back to the households.
Formally known as Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association, this unique service industry, started by Hon. Mahadu Bacche and Hon. Dhondiba Medge, has attracted the attention of many, globally. Thus, this project aims at studying the Dabbawallah system and gauging its market structure.
Features of the Dabbawallah System:
* Three Tier Structure: Dabbawallahs have a simple three-tier structure consisting of Executive Committee members at the top-most position followed by the Mukkadams which are the group leaders of teams consisting of 20-25 dabbawallahs who constitute the last tier of the structure.
* Cultural Similarity: The recruitment is community based. The root cause for this is that within a community, higher is the level of loyalty and trust.
* Work design: No historical, theoretical legacy in the design. No use of computer technology. Easy coding system is used because of a high illiteracy rate of 85% among the dabbawallahs.
* Hardly any competition: The dabbawallah system involves only distribution and no manufacturing. Thus, there is no direct competition. However there exists indirect competition in the form of fast food chains, hotels, roadside vendors, etc.
* Low-cost delivery: Another major reason for the great success of this system is low-cost delivery. It costs only around Rs.250-300 per month depending on the area and the number of tiffins. However this does affect the salaries of the dabbawallahs which is around Rs.2000-4000 per month.
* Delivery Reliability: The dabbawallah system relies completely on the local trains. The deliveries are...