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Soon Mumbai Dabbawalas to deliver organic vegetables at your doorstep


Mumbai Dabbawalas–a 128-year-old firm, which provides meal to over 300,000 Mumbaikars through a network of 5000 delivery persons is planning to deliver organic vegetables via existing infrastructure.

The Mumbai-based firm is setting up a new business arm to deliver organic produce through its Six Sigma-certified supply chain in the state capital, said Ritesh Andre who was representing as the president of the Mumbai Dabbawalas.

He also added that the company is in the process of developing a business model for it. Since a major fraction of Dabbawalas hails from farming background who grow organic grain and vegetables, its decision to test growing market of organic produce makes a lot of business sense.

The yet to be launched firm will fulfill deliveries by the existing workforce. While a majority of vegetables and grocery delivery startups are grappling to figure out right unit economics, Dabbawalas will leverage its current workforce which assures that it will make money on every delivery from day 1.

Over the past couple of years, organic produces have been enticing the elite urban population in major metros including Mumbai. According to TechSci Research, the demand of organic produce will be growing at  25 per cent CAGR during a five year period (2016-21).

The move will also be beneficial for Maharashtra’s farmers who can add value to the Dabbawalas’ network with their organic produce.

As far as leveraging the latest technology, Andre said “Various IT companies approach us with a number of business models, but it is difficult to implement them with the same efficiency and we continued with our existing model. However, after the implementation of goods and services tax (GST), we are in the process of adopting the emerging financial technologies,” he explained.

Besides its core competence (i.e; food delivery), its flagship product Digital Dabbawala is eye-catching and enables hassle-free experience for rental agreement registration. Recently, it also had partnered with Paytm Payments Bank to power QR code-based digital payment system for dabba delivery.

In the past, Indian e-commerce major Flipkart had also tied up with one of the employee unions of the Dabbawalas of Mumbai to improve its last mile delivery.

The pioneer of home-cooked food delivery counts Deloitte, KPMG, Philips, Uber, and Ola, among others as its client. The firm is looking to expand to cities like Chennai and Pune, which are the hubs for many corporates and scaled startups.

The Dabbawalas’ service is used by both working people and school children. In 1998, Forbes Global magazine conducted a quality assurance study on the Dabbawalas’ operations and gave it a Six Sigma efficiency rating.

The development was reported by TOI.

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