Tech-Free Service Design: Mumbai’s “Dabbawalas”


Using no digital technology whatsoever, Mumbai’s “Dabbawalas” are a network of 5,000 delivery people that deliver up to 200,000 lunch boxes per day, in the 4th most populated city in the world! For the past 2 decades, thousands of Mumbai’s workforce has had a lunch box carrying a homemade meal picked up from their home, delivered to their desk by lunch time, then delivered back to their home ready to be refilled for the next day. A primarily illiterate and decentralized workforce, “Dabbawalas” are legends of efficiency, accuracy, and trustworthy service. Making less than 1 error every 6 million deliveries, the “Dabbawala” system is a well-oiled, totally analog, model of exemplary service design. Come learn from the “Dabbawalas!”

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Primary Entry: Platinum Badge, Interactive Badge
Secondary Entry: Music Badge, Film Badge
Format: Presentation
Event Type: Session
Track: Design
Level: Intermediate