Illilterate people delivering thousands of packages. On time everytime.

I’ve always found this interesting, the tiffin delivery system that keeps Mumbai hunger-free.  It’s been a case-study of efficiency and organization, especially considering its paper-less system nor is it ‘managed’ in the traditional sense. BBC UK even had a documentary on it!

This link describes the system in details.

On how the tiffins are identified:

Every tiffin-carrier has the mark of a circle or a flower of a specific colour and a digital identity number. Take this Tiffin Mark for example-K-BO-10-19/A/15. K is the identity letter of the dibbawala. BO means Borivali i.e. the area from where the tiffin is to be collected.. The figure of 10 refers to Nariman point area. 19/A/15 refers to the 19th Building and the 15th floor in Nariman point area where the tiffin is to be delivered. Amazing.

On its history:

this is the oldest service system in Mumbai for the basic necessity of life i.e. food. It is reported to have started somewhere in 1880-85 when the total population of Mumbai was less than ten lacs against 1.20 crores of today. Leave aside the local railway, even the buses of B.E.S.T. did not exist then. 40% of the population was Parsi. The Tiffins during those days were served on bicycles, hand-cart, bullock-cart or tanga (horse-driven carriage). Service charge at that time was two annas (twelve paisa as per the current currency) against Rs.200/- per Tiffin today.

Forbes has an interesting article on it as well.

Not only are these tiffin folks efficient, but they are charitable as well!

Rs10 goes to the Tiffinmen’s Association. After minimal expenses, the rest of the Rs50,000 a month that the Association collects go to a charitable trust that feeds the poor

Very cool. Another example of innovation being a necessity of survival.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: