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

Affiliations

  • Presidency School of Business, Bangalore, India

Abstract


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.

Keywords

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

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