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Flipkart ties up with Mumbai's Dabbawalas, experiments with crowd-sourced delivery model

Flipkart ties up with Mumbai's Dabbawalas, experiments with crowd-sourced delivery model

As a partner to eKart, the Dabbawalas will initially collect Flipkart marketplace shipments from delivery hubs and deliver it to customers while picking their dabbas.

(Photo: Reuters) (Photo: Reuters)

Flipkart, the homegrown e-tailing giant, has tied up with the famous 'Dabbawalas' of Mumbai to ensure last-mile delivery to consumers. The company said on Thursday that it is also experimenting with a crowd-sourced delivery model that will connect local sellers and buyers with the help of voluntary delivery personnel reducing delivery time.

"Dabbawalas have been in the profession of transporting lunch boxes with absolute precision for more than 120 years. They are a huge inspiration on how to conduct business without any paper or administrative back-up to keep the costs down," the Bangalore-based firm said in a statement. The firm has partnered with one union of the dabbawalas. As a partner to eKart, the unique community of Dabbawalas will initially collect Flipkart marketplace shipments from delivery hubs and deliver it to customers while picking their dabbas, it added.

"The first batch of Dabbawalas have undergone training at Flipkart's delivery centres. At this stage, they will be using a paperbased tracking system with the idea being to gradually train them on the usage of apps and other wearable tech." Flipkart's crowd-sourcing model has delivery personnel on a specialised delivery programme, post extensive background verification, and they are free to take up deliveries as per their convenience," the firm said.

The move will reduce the delivery process by enabling these personnel to directly collect the package from the local seller and deliver it to the buyer, a step that will reduce order to delivery time to as little as three to four hours.