Total views : 385

An Empirical Study of the Feasibility of Introducing the Mumbai Dabbawala Food Delivery System in Bangalore


  • Presidency School of Business, Bangalore, India


Life style diseases like diabetes and hypertension are becoming rampant in India. Lack of physical exercise, sedentary life style and increased reliance on food cooked outside has only aggravated the problem. Bangalore has also earned the dubious distinction as the diabetes capital of India. This paper has attempted to study the feasibility of introducing the famed food delivery service of Mumbai that is popularly known as "Mumbai Dabbawalas" in Bangalore. The dabbawala service has endured for more than a century despite challenges galore. The winds of globalization may have slightly dented the popularity of this service but the never-say-die spirit of the food delivery men of Mumbai has carried them through. The delivery model of the Mumbai dabbawalas has stood the test of time. The service is delivered in an environment friendly manner. Past attempts at replicating the service in other cities has resulted in failure. One of the reasons for the popularity of the service has been its ability to deliver food on time and this has to be attributed to the local suburban train services in Mumbai that are well-known for their reliability. An empirical study was conducted to understand the preferences of consumers in Bangalore in opting for a similar service like the Mumbai dabbawalas. The results are positive and there is an opportunity for replicating the service in Bangalore by innovatively tweaking the delivery model. Taste, hygiene, nutrition and timely delivery were the primary attributes that consumers look for in a service that delivers home cooked food. Technology can also be gainfully employed to improve last mile delivery of the service. The paper makes recommendations about the changes that need to be made in the food delivery model to make it more fit for purpose for Bangalore.


Green Logistics, Jugaad Innovation Technology, Mumbai Dabbawalas, Quality, Service Delivery Excellence, Six Sigma.

Full Text:

 |  (PDF views: 277)


  • Ackoff, R. L., (1972). A note on systems science. Interfaces, 2(4), 40-41.
  • Baindur, D., and Macario, R. M., (2013). Mumbai lunch box delivery system: A transferable benchmark in urban logistics?. Research in transportation economics, 38(1), 110-121.
  • Balakrishnan, N., and Teo, C. P., (2008). Mumbai Tiffin (Dabba) Express. InSupply Chain Analysis , Springer US, 271-278.
  • Bates, H., and Slack, N. (1998). What happens when the supply chain manages you?: A knowledge-based response. European Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, 4(1), 63-72.
  • Ben Letaifa, S., and Reynoso, J., (2015).Toward a service ecosystem perspective at the base of the pyramid. Journal of Service Management, 26(5), 684-705.
  • Bondre, S. (2013). MUMBAI’S DABBAWALA The Uncommon Story of the Common Man. Westland.
  • Chakraborty, A., and Hargude, A. N., (2015 August).Dabbawala: Introducing Technology to the Dabbawalas of Mumbai. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct . 660-667,ACM.
  • Chopra, R., and Sharma, H., (2012).Corporate to Cooperative Entrepreneurial Leadership in Emerging EconomyLessons from Indian Enterprises. Journal of Organisation and Human Behaviour, 1(4), 12.
  • Csigas, G. N., (2015). Non-Conventional Organizations–The Messengers of the Future in the World of Organizations and Management. Global Journal of Management And Business Research, 15(3).
  • Day, G. S., (1999). Misconceptions about market orientation. Journal of market-focused management, 4(1), 5-16.
  • Kamath, S. J., Lee, Y. J.,and Zhang, X. T., (2013). Social enterprise models: creating the fortune at the base of the pyramid. International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 2(3), 269-292.
  • Krishnan, U. S., (2014). A Cross Cultural Study of the Literacy Practices of the Dabbawalas: Towards a New Understanding of Nonmainstream Literacy and its Impact on Successful Business Practices (Doctoral dissertation, Kent State University).
  • Kulkarni, S. V. (2015). ‘Make in your respective rural markets’A suggested innovation for Emerging Markets. IOS-RD International Journal of Business, 1(1), 14-16.
  • Menon, S., and Raithatha, M., (2012). Occupational Stress: An Analytical Study of Stress Among Dabbawalas of Mumbai Tiffin Suppliers Association.Prabandhan: Indian Journal of Management, 5(1), 47-54.
  • Nirali, P., and Vijaylaxmi, C., (2014). Small Innovations: The Big Drivers of Indian Economic Development. Advances in Management, 7(1), 20.
  • Patel, N., and Vedula, N., (2006).Dabbawalas of Mumbai. White Paper Kenan-Flagler Business School.
  • Pathak, G. S., (2010). Delivering the Nation: The Dabbawala s of Mumbai.South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 33(2), 235-257.
  • Ravichandran, N., (2005). World Class Logistics Operations: The Case of Bombay Dabbawallahs. W.P. No. 2005-09-01.
  • Roncaglia, S., (2013). Feeding the City: Work and Food Culture of the Mumbai Dabbawalas. Open Book Publishers.
  • Sharda, A., Patel, G., Jain, A., Kumar, A., and Gandhi, S., (2012). A Framework for Imbibing Sustainability in Supply Chains: Learning’s from Cases of India Inc. Pioneering Supply Chain Design: A Comprehensive Insight into Emerging Trends, Technologies and Applications, 10, 283.
  • Deepak, k.c,(2009 March).Dabbawalas at your Doorstep. Retrived From:
  • Kerur, B.,(2007August 23).Dabbawalas Don’t to Service Other Cities.Retrived From:
  • Narayan, R.Y., (2006 August 22) Dabbawala Model a Unique Mumbai Phenomenon. Retrieved From:
  • Arwind, D.,(2008 November 8).Why is Bangalore the Diabetes Capital?.Retrived From:


  • There are currently no refbacks.