Indian lunch lessons for Australia's corporates

India's lunch box dabbawalas provide an unlikely but highly efficient template for the kind of innovation western companies need to embrace as populations age and finite resources begin to dwindle.

Lunch times in Mumbai would make a perfect case study of frugal innovation. An army of lunch box dabbawalas ride around the city, supplying hundreds of thousands of hungry workers with hot home-made lunches. They get around balancing up to 40 metal lunch pails on their heads, or pushing fully laden hand carts, or on bicycles. Every morning, the lunches are picked up from homes and taken to railway stations. They are then transported by train to a point where the dabbawalahs load them up.

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