Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dabba, dabba... done

Every day approximately two hundred thousand Indian workers get a home-cooked lunch, picked up from their home by dabbawallas and transported to their place of work. A.k.a tiffinwallas… The Mumbai dabbawallas have their own web site, are a staple for visiting celebrities (Sir Richard Branson, the Prince of Wales, etc.), have received a Six Sigma award, and are now lecturing on management principles. Below are the secrets of their success:

1. Keep operational costs as low as possible.
2. Keep capital investment bare minimum.
3. Just serve your customer – nothing else.
4. Customer is not the rajah, but maharajah.
5. Complexity opposes compliance.
6. Never deviate from your core competency.
7. Do not be overdependent on technology.
8. Flat organization – fast decision making.
9. Cooperation inside – Competition outside.
10. Keep extras for fault tolerance.
11. Commitment matters – qualification doesn’t.
12. Know the implication of failure.
13. Build your services around existing.
14. Abandon bad customers.
15. Strike means suicide – labor means life.
16. Penalize employees for non-compliance.
17. Do not transfer your employees very often.
18. Keep your employees emotionally united.
19. High salary alone can not retain employees.
20. Be humble and do not boast your success.

Dabbawalla – Wikipedia

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