The story of the Dabbawalas!

We are the Dabbawalas, we prepare and serve home-made food to the office workers across the lanes of Mumbai in the lunch-boxes. The service remains uninterrupted even during extreme weather conditions such as, at the times of Mumbai’s characteristic monsoons.

With their firm determination and grit towards achieving this goal their name has been recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records for Best time Management. They entitled it the “perhaps the most ingenious” food delivery system in the world.

Their Entrepreneurial Success Story continues to inspire millions in the country. So, how did this start?


It all started about some 125 years ago when a banker wanted to have home made in his office on regular basis. So, his gave this responsibility the first ever Dabbawala. People highly appreciated this idea of being served with nutritious food.

Soon, this idea started to grow as the Dabbawala’s served the food with utmost dedication. Currently, 5000 Dabbawala’s serve deliver food to over 2,00,000 people every day with a meager earning of Rs. 10-15 per day, but it the consumer’s satisfaction which keeps them going for money isn’t everything in Life.

With over 120 tons of food delivered everyday by the Dabbawala’s, almost 16 tons remains uneaten. To optimize the use of the remaining food, the Dabbawala’s of Mumbai have indeed come up with an innovative idea.

While 1.6 million of the Mumbai city enjoys their meal every day, about 200 thousand children on the streets go hungry every day. So, if you haven’t finished your Dabba (Tiffin/Lunchbox) and you wish to share it with the less-privileged, all you have to do is to put the ‘Share’ sticker on your Dabba.

On their way back, when the Dabba’s are sorted, the ones with the sticker are kept aside. Many volunteers among the Dabbawala’s then share the food with the children. In this way, their small deeds also help in the up-bringing of the less privileged.




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