Work is Worship: What the Dabbawalas Can Teach the World

CHENNAI: If anyone or anything stands as an example of flawless execution, peerless customer satisfaction and most of all, the efficacy of informal education — Mumbai’s Dabbawalas take the prize by a long mile.

For a 5,000-strong group of mostly illiterate people who operate a ‘food delivery’ service of Six Sigma efficiency, these men have won their laurels with a simple motto — Work is worship, and the customer is God. Mumbai’s Dabbawalas and their unmatched efficiency have long captured the imagination of a world that has come to prize the comforts of technology. And to that world, that the Dabbawalas’ ‘stats’ are astounding is an understatement. “They operate a service that delivers 200,000 tiffin boxes to offices and schools all over Mumbai. And how many persons do this? Five thousand mostly illiterate people,” declared Dr Pawan Agrawal, a management guru who has studied them for nearly a more



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