Thiruchirapalli: Craze for fast food and
growing trend among the youngsters to eat out have led to near
stagnation in the customer base of famed Mumbai dabbawalas,
who deliver lunch boxes to over two lakh Mumbaikars every day,
according to a management consultant.
"In recent years, there had been no significant increase
in the customer base of the 120-year-old business as the new
entrants to the country`s commercial capital have different
tastes and perception of food habits," Pawan G Agrawal,
president of Mumbai Dabbawala Education Centre, said.
He attributes the trend to the change in food habits,
especially among youngsters who prefer fast food and snacks
than homemade lunch and mass exodus of Mumbaikars to other
cities across the country and overseas.
Besides, in-house eateries and restaurants established by
large corporates and factories have also contributed to the
stagnation in the growth of clients for the dabbawalas, known
as the masters of supply chain management for their precision
work in reaching the food in time to office-goers.
However, their loyal customer base continues with over
two lakh customers served by 5,000 plus dabbawalas, whose
average literacy rate is only eighth grade, Agrawal said
during a visit here recently.
"The main reason for the success in maintaining 99.99 per
cent accuracy was the inculcation of service motive than
claiming labour rights," Agrawal, who has made extensive
research on the working of the dabbawalas, said.