Dabbawalas…the essence of ‘Work is Worship’

I know I’m contributing after such a long time, but let bygones be bygones. Today is one of the most exhilirating days in my life as a student. We had a guest lecture today and the speakers were the president and general secretary of the Nutan Tiffin Box Suppliers Association or more commonly and affectionately known world over as the dabbawalas. What I learnt there??? read on…

I learnt that if you know what you are doing inside out, you dont need to be a great orator. Language is never a barrier to delivering knowledge. I learnt that you dont have to study in a convent school or in a bigshot college to be an effective speaker. You need to have that art of mixing wit, simplicity and knowledge in every sentence you speak, and the crowd wont ever get distracted. I learnt that no matter what you become in life, what heights you attain, if you forget where you come from and what is your purpose for being where you are, you have not achieved anything. I learnt that at the end of the day, your culture and your people will remain the most important factors that make your business a success. I learnt that time management and discipline have an unparalleled importance and can be neglected only at your own peril.

There are a lot of things that come forward when you listen to such people speak. Here you have a president and a general sec. who co-ordinate 5000 employees focussed on just delivering tiffins. So much so that when Prince Charles expressed his desire to meet them, they first of all werent fully aware of the enormity of this visit and they didnt care less if he was God. They had but one answer, ” If he wants to take a look at how we work, he’ll have to be with us and see for himself .None of us have the time to sit and explain things because there are people with hungry stomachs waiting for home made food, and our duty is to serve them “. These are guys who still dont know what is the importance of Six Sigma and what it means to a business. At first they thought it was something tangible and were sort of dejected to find out it was just a certificate. Imagine that!!! ITS JUST A CERTIFICATE FOR THEM!!! They dont know that what they are doing is harnessing the transport system and setting an example in the Supply Chain Management. They didnt know who Richard Branson was, when he was travelling with them in the luggage compartment.

They do know that unless it’s a life stopping situation, they have to deliver on their commitments. The statistics are amazing and can be found anywhere on the Internet. But you have to see and hear them speak to realise that they are your next door neighbours who take pride in the Marathi tradition and values and who put duty before anything and everything else. For someone who are globetrotters now, they are perfectly humble without any air of superiority whatsoever. We always say that discipline is a big issue with Indians, but they are a scintillating exception.

There are many things to write here. Felt really proud to see that ‘aapli marathi manse’ are soaring high in the sky. Please dont miss a chance to listen to these humble but great people.

till then, take care n all the best,



10 thoughts on “Dabbawalas…the essence of ‘Work is Worship’

  1. pata nehi humlog itne bade bade companies mein kyu kaam karte hain..aise hi kuch start karke make it a big chain…it’ll be greaat

  2. Pingback: IBS Hyderabad Chronicle - Page 3 - PaGaLGuY.com - The Everything of MBA, CAT 2007, GMAT, XAT, SNAP, IIM

  3. the point is, there are many businesses around us that have potential and enjoy some amount of customer loyalty. But they lack the qualities of discipline and the vision of the top management ( in many cases, the owner) to grow and realise that full potential…

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