Short Form Video: Every day 4,000 dabbawallas pick up more than 100,000 lunches at homes in Mumbai, India, and deliver the lunches to their places of work. The dabbawallas (or “box people”) sort the lunches multiple times and transport them by bicycle, cart and train. THE DABBAWALLAS captures this more than 100-year-old work system in this fascinating documentary.

Director Paul Goodman was astonished to learn just how efficient and reliable the dabbawallas’ operation is without the help of any of today’s technological or business tools. “They have developed an extremely complex and highly reliable system of work with none of the technology or practices that the industrial world thinks is necessary. It is a compelling example of what we in developed countries can learn from other countries,” said Goodman.

Making the dabbawallas’ success even more impressive is the fact that Mumbai, India, formerly Bombay, is continually growing and becoming more congested. The complicated network of streets and look-a-like buildings makes it difficult for the city’s more than 16 million residents to get around. Yet the dabbawallas deliver lunches to the right person at the right time 96 percent of the time.

Produced by Changing Nature of Work