Dr. Pawan Agarwal


Dr. Pawan A. – The Great Indian Management of Dabbawala

Dr. Pawan (M.Com. Bed. LLB. ACS, PhD.), is Mumbai Dabbawala authorised English speaker / presenter.

He has made more than 200 presentations across various corporate in India and abroad. Also presentations were made to various Universities, NGOs, YPO & YEO member organisations
(Young President Organisation & Young Entrepreneur Organisation).

In the year 2001, while he was pursuing his Doctorate for the topic “A Study & Logistics & Supply Chain Management of Dabbawala in Mumbai”, he had approached the Dabbawala’s (Mr. Raghunath and Mr. Gangaram).

Pawan has been involved in the world of dabbawalas ever since and works on an honorary basis to make presentations. He has been Authorised by Dabbawalas to present their work in front of the audiences in English. Outside India Pawan has been invited to unleash the magic of Dabbawala to organisations such as: YPO members in Kenya, YPO members in Nigeria, British Telecommunication and global services in London and First Source Solutions ltd. In London

Pawan is knowledgeable, engaging and Passionate about the subject ‘Dabbawalas’
Economic analysis of Dabbawalas:

Everyone who works within this system is treated as an equal. Regardless of a dabbawala’s function, everyone gets paid about two to four thousand rupees per month (around 25-50 British pounds or 40-80 US dollars).

Between 175,000 or 200,000 lunches get moved every day by an estimated 4,500 to 5,000 dabbawalas, all with an extremely small nominal fee and with utmost punctuality. According to a recent survey, there is only one mistake in every 6.000.000 (!) deliveries.

The BBC has produced a documentary on dabbawalas, and Prince Charles, honoured us a visit during a recent trip to India. Owing to the tremendous publicity, some of the dabbawalas were invited to give guest lecturers in top business schools of India, which is very unusual.

Most remarkably in the eyes of many people from the West, the success of the dabbawala trade has involved no Western modern high technology. The main reason for their popularity could be the Indian people’s aversion to Western style fast food outlets and their love of home-made food.

The New York Times reported in 2007 that the 125 year old dabbawala industry continues to grow at a rate of 5-10% per year.

The Mumbai Dabbawala is a 118 years organization. They are engaged in the business of delivering Homemade food to the working members of the family at their offices. This is because, in Mumbai the distances are very long and trains are over crowed.

Dabbawalas have become an example of hard work, time management, supply chain management success, team work and simple management skills and so much so that now they are invited to deliver lectures and India top management colleges like IIMs and even to foreign universities. Dabbawalas are integral part of Mumbai and everyday they may be seen rushing to ensure time delivery of lunch boxes, so they are a common site on the streets of Mumbai.

But even after this name and fame Dabbawalas take it simple and do what they are best at – Delivering Dabbas on time.

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.

Six Sigma, ISO and many other certifications have been awarded to us by external agencies further confirm the high quality of work being done by us. The visits of HRH Prince Charles and Virgin chairman Sir Richards Branson have given Dabbawalas much media attention and respect in the society.


  • Six sigma Achievers
  • Small people Great work
  • Making Difference
  • Making Change
  • Mumbai Dabbawala the great
  • Unique Working System
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Masters
  • Error Free Work
  • Great achievers
  • The Great Indian Management of Dabbawala