Indian e-commerce platforms are tapping the reliable network of the iconic Dabbawalas of Mumbai to improve their last mile delivery capabilities. While early this month, India’s largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart partnered with this unique community of experts for its last-mile delivery to customers, Bengaluru-based food aggregator Swiggy is also betting on their ability. Swiggy has recently partnered with them to train its own delivery fleet ahead of its launch in four Mumbai neighbourhoods.
Dabbawalas were invited to give a presentation on how they ensure efficiency and accuracy of their logistics system, from packaging meals to training new dabbawalas, and even how to deal with emergency situations. This was done through an interactive session between the dabbawalas and Swiggy’s own delivery boys, according to a company statement.
“The dabbawalas are something that you immediately identify with when it comes to food delivery in Mumbai. We want to understand the dabbawalas’ culture and what drives them with regards to quality and consistency of deliveries, and put them in place in Swiggy,” said Nandan Reddy, co-founder, Swiggy.
Dabbawallas have been delivering lunch boxes of hot food to workers in Mumbai for 120 years. The delivery men bring hundreds of thousands of homemade meals to office workers without the aid of technology, is estimated to have an error rate of one in six million.
Swiggy is present in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi and Gurgaon, and is expected to launch in Pune next week. It recently raised Rs 105 crore in a funding round led by Norwest Ventures.