Amazing Dabbawalas: Delivering a dabba full of success

 Being a part of the prestigious Symbiosis Institutes, case studies were a norm in our curriculum. From the neighborhood hot chips store to the bigges

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Being a part of the prestigious Symbiosis Institutes, case studies were a norm in our curriculum. From the neighborhood hot chips store to the biggest MNC’s and even the Mumbai based dabbawallas, the Symbiosis course structure covers a multitude of interesting case studies from across different industrial sectors. In fact, the Mumbai Dabbawallas have always been an interesting MBA case study for any aspirant planning to learn the intricacies of business right from the grass root level. During one of the classes at the MBA In International Business at SIIB, the Mumbai Dabbawalas were invited to share with the young managers to be, their invaluable insights and business secrets. After all, given their efficiency, the Mumbai Dabbawalas have always been regarded as one of the most professionally operating entities.

As the legendary founders of the Nutan Bombay Tiffin Box Suppliers Association. The brilliant speech gave me some amazing insights to the MBA in International Business participants alongwith sharing with them the finer blue print of the business and its growth plans. The students at Symbiosis found it truly amazing to see the founders share their simple yet mesmerizing tale of success.

Dabbawalas belong to a Varakari Sampradaya ( tradition) and the entire 4000 strong work force belongs to this sampradaya. Coming from the same origin, the dabbawallas are united in spirit and functionality helping them to overcome inhibitions and deliver efficiently. So what makes this tradition so unique and what drives them to work at unbelievable 6-sigma efficient levels? Every member of dabbawala is a passionate devotee of Lord Panduranga((Another avatar of Lord Krishna). Treating their work as worship of the deity himself, the dabbawallas work in close combination to minimize errors and deliver with greater efficiency.
At Symbiosis, we have always been taught to think proactively and indulge in your work positively. Only then will you be able to see your hardwork as a manager materialize into results for the corporate. This core belief applies to the other programs including the MBA in Energy and Environment as well as the MBA in Agribusines. The informative session by the Mumbai Dabbawallas was also an initiative in this direction, that was aimed at motivating the students to be positive about taking up challenges and working in coherence as a team to achieve better results.

Another interesting thing which came out during the lecture was the fact that all the workers, irrespective of how many years they worked, get the same share of money from the total share of profits they make. When each and every member is a part of one organism, how can anyone get more than other?.. Looking at the mess we’ve created in the wake of financial crisis, thanks to all the popular carrot and stick approaches of compensation, one cannot but notice the gem of wisdom that lies behind this.
The Mumbai Dabbawallas dont have a single MBA to guide them, however their business skills are at par with some of the finest businessmen in the world. The moral of this story is that one must always respect the conventional ways of doing business. An MBA in International Business or any of the other post graduate programs in institutes like Symbiosis focuses on inculcating within students an adaptability to modify their thinking capacity as per situations and not make it malleable to compromise according to changing business trends.

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