Microsoft ties up with Mumbai’s Dabbawallas to promote Vista

Mumbai’s dab­bawal­las nev­er cease to amaze me. They have received temen­dous pub­lic­i­ty in the last few years, most­ly because of the Six Sig­ma cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by Forbes, the Prince Charles vis­it and wed­ding invi­ta­tion, and the sup­port of Virgin’s Richard Bram­son.

But this was news to me: “Microsoft has tied up with Dab­bawal­las to Offer ‘Asli­wala PC Offer’. The main aim of this cam­paign is to spread the aware­ness about the ben­e­fits of gen­uine Win­dows soft­ware. Under this scheme the leaflets will be dis­trib­uted to 2 lakh cus­tomers of Dab­bawal­las with the mes­sage about the ben­e­fits of gen­uine Win­dows soft­ware.

Against this leaflets cus­tomers may buy PC, Lap­tops, etc from Zenith com­put­ers at dis­count­ed prices. Dab­bawal­las will be wear­ing the T-Shirt and cap of Microsoft Vista — the new oper­at­ing sys­tem recent­ly launched by Microsoft. Your friend­ly Dab­bawal­la will be paid Rs. 100/- for every PC or Lap­top sold through this scheme.”

Read the orig­i­nal “press release” straight from the Dab­bawalas them­selves!

I’m so hap­py to see this 120-year old insti­tu­tion grow­ing more than ever.

In the News

There is a ser­vice called FedEx that is sim­i­lar to ours — but they don’t deliv­er lunch.”
Recent New York Times sto­ry.

On a bicy­cle we are king of the road, We can go down no-entry roads, through red lights. You can’t do that in your car, can you?”
An account from The Inde­pen­dent

Unrav­el­ing the Col­or Cod­ing (From Mumbai’s Amaz­ing Dab­bawalas)
Dabba Symbols

Management Gyaan

(From What You Can Learn From A Dab­bawala, and Mumbai’s Amaz­ing Dab­bawalas)

  • Error is hor­ror!” In the event of a dab­bawal­la meet­ing with an acci­dent en route, alter­na­tive arrange­ments are made to deliv­er the lunch box­es.
  • The dab­bawalas must be extreme­ly dis­ci­plined. Con­sum­ing alco­hol while on duty attracts a fine of Rs 1,000. Unwar­rant­ed absen­teeism is not tol­er­at­ed and is treat­ed with a sim­i­lar fine.
  • Brand­ing: The Gand­hi cap serves as a potent sym­bol of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion in the crowd­ed rail­way sta­tions. Not wear­ing the cap attracts a fine of Rs 25.
  • No retire­ment age, and any per­son can work till he is fit enough to car­ry on the tasks required of him.
  • Put the cus­tomer ahead of every­thing else. It is said that when Prince Charles expressed a desire to meet them dur­ing his vis­it in 2003, the dab­bawal­las request­ed him to sched­ule the meet­ing such that it did not inter­fere with their mid-day deliv­ery tim­ings.

Quotable Quotes

(From Walk the Talk with Shekhar Gup­ta, The Indi­an Express)

  • Our com­put­er is our head and our Gand­hi Cap is the com­put­er cov­er to pro­tect it from the sun or rain.”
  • The une­d­u­cat­ed have an abil­i­ty to mem­o­rize and retain more as opposed to the edu­cat­ed who are used to writ­ing down every­thing.”
  • Till one is 25–30 years old, you can eat any­where, but after that home cooked food is what suits the the stom­ach and health.”
  • Even if some­one in their fam­i­ly falls ill, they first deliv­er the food and then attend to them.”
  • Our ances­tors fought in Shivaji’s army and just the way they had to climb moun­tains while fight­ing, we have to climb stairs to deliv­er the tiffins.”
  • I made every work­er a share­hold­er. This way they would put in more effort and since every­one is a share­hold­er, there would be no ques­tion of a union or strike.”
  • Q. “Have any of your dis­putes reached the police or the courts”
  • A. “No, nev­er.”
  • Q. “How did the peo­ple in Italy react to you?”
  • A. “They are amazed that une­d­u­cat­ed peo­ple like us can car­ry out a busi­ness like ours so accu­rate­ly. They rely on their call cen­tres for every small prob­lem where­as we have to be accu­rate with our deliv­ery every sin­gle time.”

Nuff said!

This entry was posted in India, marketing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Yeah right. The world’s bug­gi­est oper­at­ing sys­tem wants the world’s most effi­cient deliv­ery sys­tem to be their adver­tise­ment? Like Moth­er Tere­sa in a Pol Pot sup­port ad?

  • hmm­m­m­m­mm