FMB Coimbatore goes online!
Every Monday morning, 75-year-old aunty Safiya logs on to a particular website. After feeding her ID and password, she carefully references the calendar and puts in her tick across the days from Monday to Saturday while also considering her family’s weekly requirement.
A few lanes away, Sheikh Hakimuddin bhai Rampurawala and his team collate the large quantities of data fed from aunty Safiya and many others like her and after a few patient hours of organizing these records, create the master list – the precise quantity of food that needs to be prepared during the week.
Welcome to the world of Faiz-ul Mawaid-al Burhaniyah (FMB) Coimbatore, which is perhaps the only in India to take FMB online.
Interestingly, when Sheikh Hakimuddin bhai was visiting his son in Manchester, he was introduced to the online FMB concept pioneered by the Manchester Jamaat, which is at the trisection of strengthening convenience, ensuring widespread availability of food and minimising resource and cost wastages. He applied his learnings and the result was the launch ofwww.fmbcoimbatore.com as early as March 2012.
Below are the edited excerpts from the interview with the core team of FMB Coimbatore comprising Sheikh Hakimuddin bhai Rampurawala (Secretary), Juzer bhai Lodhgar, Hussain bhai Rampurawala and Zainab bai Bhinderwala.
Q. What was the inspiration behind taking FMB online in Coimbatore?
A. With the dua and raza mubarak of Maula Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS), His Mansoos Syedi Wa Maulaya Aaliqadr Mufaddal Bhaisaheb Saifuddin (TUS) initiated Faiz-ul Mawaid-al Burhaniyah (FMB). With the active encouragement, support and involvement of Sheikh Saifuddin bhai saab Rangoonwala, Coimbatore aamil saab, we realised that FMB was an excellent initiative to not only ensure food for all but also weave our Coimbatore community closer, much along the lines of the famed saying ‘Families that eat together, stay together’.
With a view to stay with the times and embrace the latest in technology, we created a seamless platform where recipients in our city could easily place FMB thaali requests, modify their servings, view weekly menus and lodge change/ cancel order requests – all online with the simple click of a few buttons.
Q. So you are saying that recipients could simply go online and place requests from wherever they might be?
A. Absolutely. FMB Coimbatore was created with the overarching purpose of strengthening anytime-anywhere access. So recipients can log on from the comfort of their homes or from their smart phones or tablets while commuting to work. The biggest advantage of this all-pervasive infrastructure is that our recipients are never too far away and can easily access the Web site www.fmbcoimbatore.com to modify or cancel placed requests if they have to leave town on a short notice or if they have to attend a sudden invitation.
Q. What is the procedure for registering online?
A. When we were creating the Web site, we were clear that it needed to be simple, non-cumbersome and user-friendly. The result was that all one had to do was log on to www.fmbcoimbatore.com, enter the Ejamaat number and password, modify the password and simply select servings (‘1’ corresponding to single tiffin for serving two or ‘2’ corresponding to double tiffins for serving a family of four) or cancel orders.
For enhancing convenience, especially among those who do not have access to the Net, the order is placed by FMB members. The menu for the particular day is also visible alongside the date and users can also write in their feedback and read notices.
Q. What happens once the master list is created?
A. The Web site has been designed such that registering and placing orders can be done on every Monday for the whole week. Once we know the number of single and double tiffins that have been requested, we can easily calculate the precise quantity of food that is required to be cooked on a daily and weekly basis.
Q. What is the biggest advantage of the master list?
A. The master list triggers a series of events that comprises placing the correct purchase order for meat, grains, vegetables and other resources with a view to minimise wastages. Since raw material procurement represents the single biggest cost in the entire operation, the master list is vital in helping us allocate and budget procurement costs and keep these in tight control.
y closer, much along the lines of the famed saying ‘Families that eat together, stay together’.
Q. What happens thereafter?
A. All incoming raw material resources are checked for their quality, quantity, expiry date and consistency before they are dispatched to the kitchen for thorough washing and cleaning. The cooks and helpers are mandated to maintain hygiene and cleanliness and sudden and surprise checks helps maintain vigilance. The food is also sampled intermittently and once cooked, is packed into the respective tiffins and placed in large racks for easy pick-up. For the sake of convenience, each family has two tiffins for alternate usage.
Q. What is the science that goes behind creating the menu?
A. We are a team of 20 members with clear, segregated responsibilities. One among us is a qualified dietician in charge of creating a menu that is nutritious, wholesome and well-balanced so that a family dependant on the FMB thaali will not suffer from deficiencies. We are careful to use only rice bran oil, olive oil and pure ghee and do not use artificial colours or food essence.
Q. If I were to ask you the biggest outcome of taking FMB online, what would it be?
A. Clearly the fact that that there is minimum wastage in the entire food chain. What is cooked is balanced off with what is distributed. The imposition of penalties has also ensured an almost 100% compliance between order placement and collection. After gathering reams of data from the Web site over months, we have strengthened our forecasting and budgeting practices, integrating our procurement chain and saving on costs through proper inventory management.
However we believe that the biggest result of taking FMB online is that individuals in our community have been introduced to the computer and Internet and there is a greater level of enthusiasm especially among the seniors to embrace this medium.
Q. Have you been approached by peers from other cities?
A. We have received quite a few representations from several FMB committees from India and abroad to understand our model and we believe it is only a matter of time before other such groups embrace this cost-effective and far-reaching medium.
Word from the author:
This article has been prepared with the objective of recognizing the ability of our community members to embrace the new and stay ahead of the times. It is also a source for common learning and implementing tried and trusted best practices.
Please feel free to circulate this article as widely as possible.
I commend the efforts of Bhai Adnan Hamid and hope his well conducted interview and 'write up' will motivate others in the khidmat of FMB world wide to pool in their talents and resources, the ultimate aim is to make the entire 'mohim' one of the best in the world and the A'la niyat is the khusi and doa of our beloved Aqa Moula (TUS) and his a'ali qadr Mansoos Sayedi va Moulayi Muffadal Saifuddin Moula (TUS)