Transporting lunches may sound simple but what the dabbawalas do every day is a remarkable feat — one so impressive, in fact, that professors from Harvard Business School have traveled to India to study it.
Some 5,000 men dole out over 200,000 meals a day, picking up the tiffins in the morning from women, typically, who have packed steaming, spicy dishes into each compartment: a curry, vegetables, dal (lentils), and flatbread (with some variations).
For many Mumbai residents, this is the only way to lunch — on a feast, made with the love of a mother or wife.
"It's expensive to eat outside every day, besides it's not healthy," said 36-year-old Naina Bhonsle in Mumbai's Versova neighborhood. "I know what my husband likes eating, and so I prefer to send him a tiffin every day."