Mumbai Dabbawalas deliver Flipkart items, as per announcement made by Flipkart recently. The company is exploring new delivery channels and opportunities by partnering with Mumbai Dabbawalas to achieve last mile connectivity. The company plans to achieve crowd sourced delivery model that will connect local sellers and buyers.
Mumbai Dabbawalas have been in the profession of transporting lunch boxed with high precision for more than a century. They have one world’s best supply chain and exceed six sigma standards. They have been the subject of studies by Harvard Business School. In the study conducted in 2012 Dabbawalas conduct over 260,000 transactions in six hours every day.
Founded in 1890, the organization of 5,000 Dabbawalas delivers 130,000 lunchboxes throughout Mumbai. They charge Rs. 400 to 500 per month. Mumbai Dabbawalas use Mumbai local railway system to delivery lunchboxes throughout the city.
At the start, Flipkart has tied up with one of the Dabbawalas union will collect Flipkart shipments from the delivery hubs and deliver to its customers while picking the lunchboxes/dabbas. On the other hand Flipkart will conduct extensive background verification of each volunteer who will deliver the products as per their convenience.
Flipkart’s pilot will be for prepaid orders and plans to roll out cash on delivery orders in next phase. The company have conducted extensive training at their delivery centers for this dabbawala team. The team will be using paper based tracking system and gradually learn using apps and other wearable tech.
Flipkart will use crowd sourced model for delivery, aims to cut down delivery time drastically by connecting local sellers and buyers as little as three to four hours. Dabbawala association will partner eKart, which is the logistics division of Flipkart.
Flipkart is currently testing the process of collecting the items from sellers to buyers directly and delivering within 6 hours of the order which are under Rs. 5,000.
Neeraj Aggarwal, Senior Director in charge of Last Mile Delivery, Flipkart said “The Dabbawalas of Mumbai are one of the most reliable and trusted brands in the city. Their unique delivery system has been smooth, reliable and has survived the test of time—even under extreme conditions that are atypical to a city like Mumbai. We are partnering with them and leveraging this unique expertise to enhance our last mile delivery capabilities.”