Thursday, December 25, 2008
Everyone I guess knows about the dabbawallahs or has at least heard about this system. But many few of us know the finer details.
Dabbawallah system started way back in 1890 during the British time. It so happened, that one of the Parsi banker did not want to eat outside food for his lunch because of two reasons, one that his bank balance was rapidly going down and next his doctor fees was rapidly going up. So he hired a personal servant who would go to his home in afternoon and bring his lunch cooked by his wife.
Now Avaji bacchi (I have to verify this name as I could not hear it properly and net connection is too slow to verify) saw this and thought that it was a good market need and that there should be loads of people like the Parsi Banker. So he started the Dabba service and one of the most initial dabbawallas were farmers who practically did not have any work for half the year.
Today that humble beginning has grown tremendously and has survived for about 118 years and one the most primary reasons for it surviving is according to Manish is that all the Dabbawallas are stake holders. Manish high lights some of the key achievements of this system.
1. There are about 450 dabbawallahs in Mumbai
2. Their yearly revenue is about 10Million.
3. And most importantly in all 118 years this institution has not gone for a strike even once :) :).
Manish Tripathi then says that, "Over the years working with this system I have learnt one important lesson, I am going to share the secret of this success with you. And my secret about this is that it is very difficult to manage the educated people"
He explaines, "If I have Karsanbhai dabbawalla and an IIM graduate with me and I ask them to deliver one dabba from Andheri to Dadar. By the time I tell Dadar Karsanbhai would already be running to deliver the box while IIM graduate would be asking hundreds of question as to the best method of doing it and reason for doing it and so on"He then says that 85% of dabbawallas are thumps up i.e they cannot read and write. Then he puts this all important lesson, "I am not saying that you should hire uneducated people. All I am saying is that you should hire suitably educated people. If you need graduate and you hire post graduate then all he/she would do is to go to naukri.com and look for a better job”
Manish finished his talk by giving the important lesson that most important thing in entrepreneurship is to solve the problems. And if you are committed to solving the problem money and everything will automatically follow.
Manish did not use any great poems or great lines to give his talk and it was not pre-prepared talk. It was straight from the heart and what he had learnt over the years, very simple and straightforward, I guess very much reflecting the culture of Dabbawallahs.
I guess everyone would remember the ad of Lijjat Papads that used to come on Door Darshan, I remember that it had this tagline of “Khai Jao, Khilae Jao Lijjat Papad”.
Over years Lijjat papad has remained the symbol of women strength. Started way back in 1959 by seven women with the capital of 80 rupees, today it has grown to about 40 branches engaging about 42 thousand ladies.
The organization structure is very simple. Each department is independent, and manages its own profit and loss. The quality is maintained by a central trust. All the raw materials are procured by the central trust and Aata is mixed in each center. Every morning women come and collect their “Aata mixture” and go home, make and dry papads and return them next day morning to get new “Aata mixture”. They get paid fixed amount per kg, which is about 20 rupees a kg of work. There is not restriction to joining, any women can go and start making papads straightaway after signing and promising to abide by the pledge which states that “work is worship and they would not cheat”. All the decisions are taken by the women internally. There are no men involved in this organization.
And the best thing about this organization is that women get to work from home, that ways they can take care of their family and kids and also contribute economically to the family. This is the best part about this organization. Four ladies of Lijjat Papad had come, and one of them being Jyoti Naik. They did not use any MBA words, neither did talk like revenue targets or how they want to grow. They were very simple. From them it just seemed that one simple mantra of Lijjat Papad is “Papad”, that is what they focus on, nothing more. These women don’t care about the competition, about market ups and downs, they just believe that if they make good tasty papads, at whatever small scale that they can, they would be able to sell them.
Of course you may argue that 42 branches in about 40 years is not such a speedy progress, but then for what they stand for and the system that they have created is really amazing. The idea being to empower women, and now they do lot of other side activities, like teaching women, training them to make other stuff such as pickles etc. I guess it is a great example of how women can come together and create something as big as this.
I am really looking forward to this trip and I always wanted to visit places like Aravind eye hospital and bare foot college. Also we are going to be about 300 people in a train, a special train, staying on train for next 18 days, so everything looks exciting.
The format of trip is mostly to travel at night and visit one of the places during the day time. The purpose of visit is to understand their business model and figure out how each of these have made it big in their own fields. Idea is to learn, and I guess there is no better way to learn than traveling.
The complete list of places that we visit is available here www.jagritiyatra.com,
So I guess my blog coming days is going to be filled with details about this trip, assuming I get a change to blog on train. Most of the blogs will not have pictures as it is simply not possible to upload pictures when you are traveling, so guess would do that when I get to Bangalore
Monday, December 22, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
I just finished reading this book from "Rohinton Mistry" called Fine Balance.
Very few books have touched me so much as this book. This book is a story about four individuals, bought together by fate, trying to wriggle out of the endless circle of poverty, uncertainty of life, during the time of Emergency (1975)
After RK Narayan, and out of my limited reading habit, this is the best of fiction that I have read till now.
More than that I learnt so many things about Indian history and about the time of emergency that I never read in history books.
Highly recommended read.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Aaj rockstar kal pilot
And who knows what the day after
Kabhi kisi anjan station par utar ke dekho
Kabhi kisi gumnam shahar ka ticket katao
Dusri ki galtiyo se kya seekhna, make your own mistakes yaar
Never resemble your passport photo for more than three months
Har subah shock your reflection
Bachpan ke kya kuch nahi banana chahte the
Why not today?
Be born everyday”
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Apart from this the envelop company gave quite a few other suggestions as to how to make envelops more attractive, and more tempting for people to see it.
Monday, November 10, 2008
This guy carried the kid all throughout the walk which was for more than one hour
This sign board is so apt, when you sit to think about it.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Of course this method may not work for girls, but for guys I guess they can safely go about using this. More often or not these days I end up finding a lift. Lot of days I take multiple lifts too.
Today was one such day, I was all loaded witih laptop bag in one hand and guitar in another and asking lift at the signal. Actually guitar always helps because people always have this fascination kind of things for people who carry around guitars with them, and it makes taking lift that much easier. Out of all the guys who had stopped at the signal, I saw this guy who had this small choti that was struggling to hang out from his helmet, and from my experience "choti" guys are always very sportive kinds and most likely of people to give lifts and so it happened, I asked him and he readily agreed. No sooner did the light go green, he started asking me about my guitar exploits, and the songs that I could play on guitar. I did nto have anything much to share, and then he told his story about how he had a music band kind of thing in college, and he could play drums, keyboard and guitar, the songs they used to play at that time, and little bit of hindi that he learnt because of playing those hindi songs. Now the job has practically killed all that, and he does not get any time at all. As it usually happened we exchanged bit of history of our lives, our hometowns, and so on. He also told me some of the easy songs that I should rather play and try playing.
When finally I had to get down, and our roads had to part, he gave me his phone number and all, and asked to be in touch. But then as it happens, as I got down, hundreds of things started running in my head, to take auto for remaining distance or to walk or to take another lift and about all the implications that each of this option might have on the plans that I had set up for the day. I got completely lost in my world and this guy slipped out quietly , and now when I am sitting to write this post, I realize that his number has also been lost somewhere in my call list.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I have been to Mysore couple of times and also to Chamundi hills but I never really carefully looked at the statue of Mahishasura. It rang little bell inside my head.
Anyways, a happy Dashera :)
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The Cola Life campaign is at very initial stage and you can get the updates on their website. But I really like this idea. I think it is really a powerful one. Simon Berry has been making efforts and asking Coca Cola to launch this properly all around the world. And I think it would be great idea of Coca Cola or other similar FMCG companies would follow this and make it part of their CSR.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
NGOpost is a web based community for sharing news and ideas about various social welfare initiatives. In loose terms you can refer to it as "orkut" for people who are interested in making a difference.
NGOpost is actively seeking writers, who are keen on creating something which would have far reaching benefits.
Some simple questions answered.
Do I need to have writing experience?
Not necessary. As long as you know English and can form meaningful sentences it should fine.
What do I have to write on?
Write about the social change you see happening around you. Or write about the change that is needed. It could be interviewing someone who is silently doing great work, and whose work would be an inspiration for others, or it could be an organization doing great job in its respective field. There could also be generic articles like Open education tools available for schools or benefits of organ donation. Otherwise we have list of unending topics which we want people to write on, you can choose from them.
What is the benefit for me in writing for NGOPost?
* NGOpost has readership in 150 countries around the world and it has been increasing. Your article will reach hundreds of people every day!
* Each month we send out our newsletter, which goes to about ~5k people. Your name will featured there along with the link to your profile. Personally if you are a blogger, that would give your blog a lot of visibility.
* More than all this it is the satisfaction of writing about something, which would be of use to hundreds of people. We keep getting feedback how reading some articles on NGOpost helped them solve their own problems and helped them connect with relevant people.
* Going ahead we are working on the partnering with print magazines/newspapers wherein selected articles from NGOpost will get published there. Hence there is a possibility that your article might go in print :).
So Join the band wagon of people who are keen to make a positive difference. If you are interested or have further queries write to us at parul at
Sunday, August 24, 2008
This place was about 25kms from ISCKON. The route was pretty simple, go on chord road all the way till the end where it meets Magadi road, Then go on Magadi road, towards magadi. On that road after about 13kms there is diversion to the left. There is no signboard there, but then most people know about the place, so I guess you would not have trouble locating the which left. The diversion to the left, is a very small beautiful nice lane kind of road.
The place, itself was not that great. There is a park kind of stuff, and inside the park there is this banyan tree. Apparently the original big tree has died and fallen down, and right now there are 5-6, big banyan trees which apparently were the part of the big tree earlier.
For me the fun part of this trip was going on the cycle. Overall it was 50kms, I have never done 50km cycle before on one day. But it was little taxing, especially because the roads were up and down. But forget the tiredness and everything else, the worst thing about this cycles is that your bum pains a lot, so if you ever plan to cycle, get a good cushion seat.
We all were supposed to carry the placard, when we cycle. And it was fun, to see people reading the banner and smiling. My placard was related to safe sex and prevention of AIDS, and most people would read it and giggle. It was fun. There were couple of people who stopped me, to ask me about Jagruthi and that was good to see. But most funny thing was this guy stopping me and asking me if I was distributing free condoms !!
Below is one of the pic which I took with some of the kids who were really fascinated with the cycle. The second pic has the placard that I was carrying all along the way on my cycle.
PS1: Jagruthi is a NGO which works for AIDS awareness. In their Bangalore home they house about 80 children, some of them HIV+, some who have been sexually abused, etc. Jagruthi tries to educate this kids, and also provide them some vocational training.
PS2: Apparently according to the survey of 2007 by National AIDS control Organization there are about 2.5M people living with AIDS in India, which is about 0.36% of total population. Karnataka accounts for about 11.2% of the AIDS cases in India, which is third in list after Maharashtra and Andra Pradesh. It is also very interesting to note that, Mahashtra, AP, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for about 60% of the AIDS cases. I was surprised at this stats, because I thought that AIDS was more prevalent in North India, but apparently this does not seem to be true.
PS3: Some of the pictures of Big Banyan Tree place,
All the tree trunks have all kind of graffiti
Another view of the same tree.