Mumbai's dabbawalas learning the Queen's language

Mumbai's dabbawalas learning the Queen's language

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Mumbai From Prince Charles to Richard Branson, Mumbai's dabbawalas have won fans the world over for their management skills.

For over 100 years they have delivered food to every part of the city, earning them a Six Sigma rating (a Forbes rating of 99.9 % which means one error in 6 million transactions). Such is the adroitness of the Mumbai's dabbawalas that their management skills are even studied in some top business schools across the globe.

Now, they are all set to acquire an added edge as they return to the classrooms to learn English.

"Knowing Hindi and Marathi alone is not enough. By learning English we hope to improve our business further," said Raghunath Medge, President, Mumbai Dabbawalas Association.

Classes for the nearly 5000 dabbawalas are held every Sunday - an initiative of the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University. Going by the rush, it seems as an opportunity they clearly want to make the most of.

Ravindra Sawant of the Yashwantrao Chawan Maharashtra Open University said," We teach them basic English that can help them in their business. If an address is written in English they should be able to read it without help."

With little capital and practically no technology, Mumbai's dabbawalas cater to nearly 2 lakh office goers. By learning English, their managerial wisdom looks set to acquire an added edge.
Story First Published: September 06, 2010 11:06 IST

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