Toronto: The omnipresence of Mumbai dabbawallas is an attraction for everyone. Having charmed the visiting dignitaries like Prince Charles of UK or students at premier management institutes, the dabbawallas have now become an inspiration for a woman of Indian origin in Canada.

Seema Pabari has become an entrepreneur by replicating their model in the Canadian capital.

Seema, the founder and chief executive of Tiffinday, which delivers hot vegetarian Indian meals to customers in downtown Toronto through the year, was born in Africa and has observed the famed dabbawallas in action.

"I got inspired from the dabbawallas," Pabari says, adding that the acumen with which the dabbawallas deliver the meals in spite of the large numbers is incredible.

Pabari has made one modification in the dabbawallas' model. She also prepares the food herself and every morning is a race against time.

Started nine months back by Pabari, a former marketing executive, Tiffinday currently delivers around 200 meals a day and is growing at a fast pace.

The pace has increased to such an extent that Pabari is already thinking of buying an electric autorickshaw to ferry the tiffins.

Tiffinday, which Pabari stresses is a for-profit social venture, has joined hands with an Udupi restaurant in the city, whose infrastructure is used to prepare the food.

"Under local laws I can only cook at a licensed place and anyways, the restaurant opens only at 11 AM and by that time I am done," she says.

Pabari's company has tied up with an organisation for people with disabilities, who deliver the food and she also employs needy women from the diaspora for cooking.

 

(Agencies)