Bicycle vs Bike: Is the Dabbawala Delivering Your Food Any Faster?

Safety vs comfort: What do dabbawalas prefer?

What The Food
1 min read

Over 500 dabbawalas pedal across Mumbai, from Dahisar to Panvel to Colaba six days a week and deliver over 200,000 dabbas, only to make sure that you get your ghar ka khaana on time.

The dabbawala service stared over 125 years ago and reportedly have a six-sigma accuracy level, which means only one mistake is made every 16 million deliveries. Impressive, isn’t it? The dabbawalas of Mumbai are a case study at many management institutions around the globe.

Now, they have taken a step to make their already efficient system even more efficient by transitioning to motorbikes and giving up the traditional bicycles. This change comes with its own pros and cons- it’s less tiring for these men of course and while the good old bicycles can carry only up to 60 lunch boxes, these bikes can hold upto 150 dabbas which means more business.

But, guess what? They get the same amount of money. It doesn’t matter whether one rides a motorbike or a bicycle, their fee per dabba remains the same, approximately Rs 450. So, is it really worth it? Well, some dabbawalas think it is! It’s more convenient, for them and also for the customers.

With the added fuel and maintenance cost, it’s definitely a more expensive but comfortable mode... but is it more efficient? Watch to find out.

Camera: Sanjoy Deb
Edit: Veeru Krishan Mohan
Camera Assistant: Gautam Sharma
Producer: Vinu Joseph

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Topics:  Dabbawala   Mumbai Dabbawalas   Mumbaikar 

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