Chitra Unnithan & Vinay Umarji
Case study suggests strategy to offer ‘maximum bang for the minimum buck’.
A group of students at IIM-Ahmedabad, India’s most prestigious business school, has won a case study competition on introducing innovative marketing techniques for Mumbai’s famed office meal delivery service, the dabbawallas.
The students believe this network of 5,000-odd people, who deliver home-cooked food to 2 million office-goers everyday, could be impacted by the economic slowdown at a time when competition from delivery units of fast food chains, changes in eating habits and higher incomes could present new challenges.
The dabbawalas have been described as masters of supply chain management by management guru CK Prahalad. They are known to make just one mistake in six million deliveries.
The case study was submitted at Insight 2008, the contest held in collaboration with Starcom MediaVest Group, under IIM-A’s marketing fair.
“Students have suggested creative ways for the dabbawalas to reach to the next level of growth by integrating all aspects of marketing and communication,” said Ravi Kiran, CEO, South East and South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group.
“The winners suggested a marketing campaign that leveraged both the aspirational and emotional benefits of the dabbawala service,” said Prateek Agarwal, secretary, Insight 2008, at IIM-A.
“They suggested that channel partners would tie up with the dabbawalas either due to their distribution network or the strong sense of pride they instill in Mumbai’s citizens,” Agarwal added.
The students also worked on a publicity campaign that met the objective of extracting “maximum bang for the minimum buck”. This included, among other things, word-of-mouth, local radio, tying up with the Indian Premier League cricket team Mumbai Indians and garnering local political and NGO support.
They also suggested that the service could leverage the current mania for social networking by working on an online campaign driven by a blog attached to the dabbawalas website.
Another solution was to create campaigns to build a brand that would sustain the emotional bonds between dabbawalas and their clientele so that the brand endures every downturn or slowdown. Bollywood actors who represent common people could endorse the service.
Students have also suggested building a database that includes a detailed profiling of customer food preferences, offering vouchers and movie tickets everyday to loyal customers, who earn the maximum points.
7 months ago