Society and Analysis

Project by

Prof. Girish Dalvi

This project will be exhibited at Design Degree Show 2015, 13th to 17th June.

Dabbawala: Service and Mobile Application Design for the Dabbawalas of Mumbai

Dabbawala Showcase

The dabbawalas (tiffin carriers) of Mumbai efficiently serve up to 2 lac customers every day. They have been delivering daily lunches to offices for over a century. However, in spite of numerous studies being done on their work practice, technology has yet not been incorporated in their work culture. Through our research we realized that they might lose their current customer base as similar businesses are emerging with faster and better services.

To empower them we introduce Dabbawala — a mobile application that enables partnership between dabbawalas and food services and directly connects them to their combined customer base. The customers in turn don’t need to have a fixed eating menu every day. They can choose to order lunch from various places which was not possible earlier. This creates a symbiotic environment where the stakeholders benefit from the each other’s presence.

The localized smartphone application will act as the primary interface for customers, food services and dabbawalas. The food services can update their daily menus and the customers will have options to change their eating place or menu every day right through it. The food services’ order list will get updated automatically so that they can pack extra lunch boxes. The app also provides the delivery address code for them to write on the lid of the lunch boxes. The dabbawalas get notified about the change. The integrated google map shows them the modified route plan so that they can plan their journey accordingly.

Apart from these, the application will also allows new user sign up, maintains food services, the dabbawalas’ and the customers’ profile and enables contacting any designated person right from its interface. History of orders is maintained and everything is handled through online banking and settled at the end of each month.

Care has been taken so that the design doesn’t disrupt their working procedure and ensures that the application is recognized among dabbawalas as a complement, not a replacement, of their traditional work culture. Adopted on a large scale, the application will improve accountability and communication among dabbawalas and food services and empower them to serve their customers better. Through partnership, they all benefit from each other and hence it develops a healthy system.

Design methodology
Persona creation for better understanding possible scenarios
Solution: Connecting the customers with local mess, restaurants & homes through the Dabbawalas
Initial UI - Flat Design
Features like: Customer sign up, Changing manu daily, Online money transaction
Features: Food selection and ordering, account maintenance

  • NectarBits

    Nice App Solution