Dabbawalas' to connect Airtel
Deal to deliver cards, new connections and
Mumbai :Mumbai's famed ``dabbawalas,'' who once
shook hands with Britain's Prince Charles, are
now embracing a new friend — telecom major
The hands and feet of these highly-efficient
deliverers of the city's lunch, will now also
supply at doorsteps of households they visit,
Airtel's pre-paid cards, new connections and
``This is a one-of-a-kind initiative tapped by
Airtel for deeper penetration in the market,''
Airtel CEO Manu Talwar told PTI. It has
partnered with Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box
Suppliers, he said.
``The company is all set to leverage the large
distribution network of `dabbawalas' to reach
out to a larger consumer base.''
The `dabbawalas' have been chosen as they are
"known for their honest, down-to-earth and
gentlemanly nature,'' said Mr. Talwar. They have
a reach of about two lakh household and 70 local
If each `dabbawala' carries one and sells one
they may end up adding four lakh new connections
to Airtel's market cap.
The `dabbawalas' are expected to provide
registration forms to the prospective customers
in the morning when they collect the tiffin.
By evening on their return round they hope to
collect filled up forms. Says Raghunath Megde,
president of the trust, ``I suppose we have been
chosen because of decades of trust we carry. It
has now been a week into the programme. It is in
the middle and lower income segment that we have
made some headway. Richer people already have
their own and are choosy about the handsets.''
"The cell phones that have been given to us free
of cost is of great help. We can now communicate
and coordinate better between ourselves and
cater to emergencies,'' he said.
For Airtel the tie-up is a ``win-win'' deal.
``We will increase our customer base and `dabbawalas'
can earn additional income or about Rs 250 for
every new subscriber,'' Airtel officials said. —