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Lecture By Dabbawala

Mr. Raghunath Dondhiba Medge              Mr. Gangaram Laxman Taleker                         Mr. Manish Tripathi

Out of 5000 Dabbawalas , about 85% are illiterate and the remaining 15% are educated up to 8th grade.  This way we are not well qualified to teach anyone or for that matter deliver any lecture. In fact we need quality education. However by working for past 116 years will full dedication , time management , no strike  gathering experience in logistics - Mumbai Dabbawalas have created as place of their own. The six sigma , ISO and many other certificates given to us by external agencies has further corroborated the high quality of work being done by us. The visit of English king - Prince Charles and Virgin Atlantis chairman Sir Richards Branson has given Dabbawalas much media attention and respect in the society. So we do not have any knowledge but we have experience of 116years. Due to this reason we are invited for the lecture by reputed organizations in not only Mumbai or India but from foreign nations too. We are thankful to all for inviting us for the lecture and giving us so much respect.
Dabbawalas are invited for lecture for following reasons:

  • To learn the "Management Learning's From Dabbawala" and then to attempt to apply them in the organization.

  • To understand the logistics of Dabbawala in delivering 2,000000 ( 2 lakh ) Dabba daily within stipulated time.

  • To gain insight into the colour coding used by the Dabbawalas to ensure error free delivery.

  • To know the organizational hierarchy of Dabbawalas to understand what keeps Dabbawalas self motivated and get going.

  • To understand as how Dabbawalas got six sigma , ISO certificate and many other quality certificates even being so not well educated.

  • To share the management lessons that Dabbawalas have gained over 116 years.

  • To motivate employees by showing that if uneducated Dabbawalas can work so great then why not our employees.

  • As we have never gone on strike for past 116 years , some times we are invited to address the employees in sharing the harm of strike.

  • Some times Dabbawalas are invited to deliver lecture on annual days and other celebrations of organizations.

  • The lecture by us is extremely humorous and everyone enjoys it - its not a lecture rather experience sharing  so organizations just invite us to know as how we work.

  • As key note speaker.

  • As after dinner or after lunch events.

  • At product launches.

  • We are invited for many many more reasons best known to the people and organizations who invite us.

Organizations Which Have Invited Dabbawalas For The Lecture

Dabbawalas are mostly invited by Management colleges , hospitality colleges,  educational institutes , private & multinational organizations and government and semi government companies. The partial list of the organizations  which have invited Dabbawalas is as follows:

  • IIT Bombay , Delhi , Kharagpur and almost all other IITs.

  • IIM - Indore , Lucknow and almost all other IIMs.

  • Many Meetings of Confederation of Indian Industries ( CII).

  • Stanfort University delegation to India.

  • University Of Nebraska.

  • Symbiosys Management School - Pune.

  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

  • Global Business School- Nagpur.

  • NM Dalmia College - Mumbai.

  • National Stock Exchange - Mumbai.

  • Reserve Bank Of India.

  • Mahindra & Mahira - Kandivli ( Mumbai ) and Nasik.

  • Sandoz Pharmaceuticals - Mumbai.

  • Indian School Of Business  (ISB)  - Hyderabad.

  • GE Money Servicing - Hyderabad.

  • Microsoft - Gurgoan.

  • Genpact - Hyderabad.

  • Community of cooked food - Itly.

  • Accenture - Mumbai.

  • SAP India.

  • And  many other organizations in Mumbai ,India and abroad. The list is very long and it is not possible to mention all organizations here.

Meet our Own Home Grown Dabbawala Lecturers

  • Mr. Raghunath Dondhiba Medge - Speaks in Hindi & Marathi. Topic covered is "The Magic Of Dabbawala Unfolded".

  • Mr. Gangaram Laxman Taleker. - Speaks in Hindi & Marathi. Topic covered is "The Magic Of Dabbawala Unfolded".

  • Mr. Manish Tripathi - Chairman , Dabbawala Foundation. Speaks in Hindi & English. Topic covered is "The Magic Of Dabbawala Unfolded" and "Management Learning's From Dabbawala".

So if only Mr. Raghunath Dondhiba Medge is invited then he will take the lecture "The Magic Of Dabbawala Unfolded" in Hindi. If only Mr. Manish Tripathi is invited then first he will take the lecture "The Magic Of Dabbawala Unfolded" in Hindi or English and then "The Magic Of Dabbawala Unfolded" in Hindi or English. If both Mr. Gangaram Laxman Taleker and Mr. Manish Tripathi  are invited then first Mr. Gangaram Laxman Taleker will take the half of lecture in Hindi then Mr. Manish Tripathi will take remaining lecturer  in Hindi or English and after that Mr. Manish Tripathi will take "Management Learning's From Dabbawala" in Hindi or English. All these speakers do not have any formal course in delivering lecture's and they are not so well educated but they give excellent lecture ( this is the feedback from the organizations where they go).

For local lectures ( In or around Mumbai) , few Dabbawalas may also be called along with our lecturers as show piece which adds up to the event and makes the lecture a great and memorable occasion - this was done by few companies and was a great success.
Sometimes the Dabbawalas are invited for "SURPRISE LECTURE" , wherein the timing is fixed for some event or lecture but the audiences are not informed as who will be doing that programme or lecture and Dabbawalas make a surprise entry and thrill the audiences - everyone just enjoys the event. Once , in a same kind of programme , first the documentary film on Dabbawalas was shown and then the Dabbawalas were invited for the lecture , keeping the audiences surprised.

Format Of The Lecture

  • The presentation starts with a optional 5 minute documentary film which gives introduction of Dabbawalas.

  • First the presentation is started with "The Magic Of Dabbawala Unfolded" which deals with the history , internal working , coding , logistics , organizational set and all other related issues of Dabbawala. This presentation explains everything about Dabbawala. All your questions about Dabbawala is answered. This lecturer takes about 30 minutes to 2 hour depending upon time given to us. If there are two lecturers then the time is divided otherwise incase of one lecturer the entire lecture is taken by one person.

  • After this a rather well made audio visual documentary film titled " Dabbawala - Small People Great Work" is shown which taken 23 minutes. This film is in English.

  • After this if Mr. Manish Tripathi is invited then he takes the lecture "Management Learning's From Dabbawala" which talks about the learning's from the 116 year experience of Dabbawalas. This lecture is on rather serious side and  points by points narrates as what are the majors highlights of the Dabbawala system and how can an organization benefit by applying them in their organization. This lecture my taken anything from 20 minutes to 40 minutes.

  • If the time permits , then another 20 minute documentary file made by BBC is shown.

  • After that the question & Answer session is there ( Sawal Aapke - Javap Dabbawale Ke) where any remaining queries are taken up.

  • Few audiences are invited on the stage and they give immediate feedback on lecture and what they have gained from the lecture.

  • Vote of thanks by Dabbawalas for inviting uneducated Dabbawalas for the lecture and gifting of Dabba with Gandhi Topi to dignitaries. 

    Sn. Description Duration Notes
    1 Dabbawala Introduction Documentary film (The Dabbawala should not be introduced to audience up to  this time nor he should be on the stage or dais) 2.51 minutes  
    2 Dabbawala is introduced to the audience and Dabbawala comes on the stage. 2 - 3 minutes  
    3 Lecture - "Magic Of Dabbawala Unfolded" 30 - 60 minutes  
    4 Documentary film on Dabbawala explaining our operations Detailed: 24 minutes
    Edited: 14 minutes
    5 Lecture - "Management Learning's From Dabbawala" 15 - 30 minutes This lecture is optional and suitable for management students and corporate
    6 Question & answer up to audience  
    7 Live and quick feedback on lecture by audience 5 - 10 minutes optional
    8 End Of the lecture    

Requirements For The Lecture

  • Audience with desire to know  about Dabbawalas.

  • PC with CD ROM or USB pen drive .We bring the presentation and film in both CD and pen drive - and also the hard copies of both presentations in case PC doesn't work! - This is the Dabbawala way!!!

  • LCD projector with multimedia.

  • Multimedia system  with speakers and projector for showing the documentaries.

  • Cordless mike for speaking for the speaker and one more mike for speaker to interact with the audience.

Suitable Day & Time Of Lecture

As giving lecture is not our main job and we have to work Monday to Saturday 8AM - 6PM , the suitable time of the lecture is as follows:

  • Monday to Friday 6PM onwards.

  • Any time during Saturday and Sunday.

  • Any time during holidays.

  • However with prior discussion it is very much possible to arrange the lecture on even week days as well - Monday to Friday anytime.

  • After checking with the appointments the date is confirmed.

  • For international lectures the request must come as early as possible (preferred is 3 month advance)   however we may consider lecture request in one month advance as well.

Travel and other arrangements

  • Requesting the organizers to arrange for the travel.

  • In case of short distances, road or rail transport may be arranged.

  • However in case of long distances we request to arrange air travel as we have to get back to Mumbai for work. Normally E-tickets may be send or else the hard copy of tickets may be send. In the booking our mobile numbers may be given for communication. We carry our photo identity card with us.

  • In case the lecture is planned in morning for out of the station locations, it is better to reach the location the previous night and stay.

  • Suitable boarding & lodging may be arranged - if required.

  • All the lecturers have their valid passport so we may even visit foreign counties as well. In fact we have already visited many countries for the lecture.

How to Invite Dabbawalas For The Lecture?

  • Option1 ( Preferred) : Please fill the Request For Lecture ( MS Word . DOC) or Request For Lecture ( Acrobat .PDF) form and email the completed form to [email protected] . All the fields in the lecture request form must be filled otherwise there may be delay in response on no response from our side as we receive large number of lecture request everyday. After sending the lecture request form by email we will confirm our participation and then the official lecture request on your letterhead must be end to the address provided by us.

  • Option 2: Please send email to [email protected] with following details - ( Organization with address , purpose of the lecture ,contact person name , phone and mobile numbers , 2 -3 possible dates , language of lecture , time given for the lecture and any other related information).

  • Please allow few days for us to confirm as we have to check the availability of all three lecturers.

Post  Lecture Activities

  • The lecturer feedback may be filled and send to us - please send on your letter head for our record purpose please and send it to the address provided by us.

  • If any photo or  video is taken during the event , then the same my be emailed or couriered to us.

  • In case any article related with the lecture is made ( Word document , press release or web page ) then the same may be send to us to update on our website.

Do Dabbawalas Charge Fee For The Lecture?

We are not professional lecturers nor do we have much knowledge to share. We only share our 116 years experience like a live cricket commentary - whatever we do we talk about it. So we do not have any right to ask for the fee but as our earnings are very limited and Dabbawalas do not have any benefits like other jobs ( post retirement benefits , insurance , medical facility , bonus , not even a decent salary ,etc) we seek support from the society. So we request all to kindly support 5000 Dabbawalas and this 116 year old legacy. Whatever support is given for the lecture , it is in fact help and support to Dabbawalas. The support may be inform of kind , cash or cheque. 5000 Dabbawalas thank you for your help. We are very happy to confess that we receive the support in very large way from the organizations which keeps Dabbawalas going.

We thank all organizations for inviting Dabbawalas for the lecture and giving us so much respect.
Thanking all of you.
With Real Thanks And Warm Regards,

Team Dabbawala

Picture Gallery Of the Lectures


Contact Information

For all queries related with the lecturer please contact us.

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