Sunday, May 21, 2006

India Post : Chitti Aayi Hai

Brand : India Post
Company: Government of India

India Post is the backbone of India’s communication structure. This juggernaut reaches the nook and corner of India . The system of carrying messages were said to exist even during the time of Allauddin Khilji in 1296. The first Post Office was established in 1766 by the East India Company . They opened the PO in Mumbai Chennai and Kolkatta. It was Mr Warren Hastings that made the postal service available to general public.

India Post is functioning under the Ministry of Communication. This huge organization haver around 1,50,000 offices and around 500,000 Post boxes. Till recently India Post was enjoying the Sole Supplier Status in this market. With the popularity if E-mail and the competition from courier companies, India Post is facing a crisis.We have long being taking this service for granted. But some point of time India Post have to change other wise it will collapse. India Post has been making loses continuously and is surviving on subsidy from Government.

With the private players taking up major share in the 1200 crore Courier market in India , India Post is left with the unprofitable business.

India Post has a huge advantage over the private players in the reach factor. No one can match the reach of post offices and our very own “ Post man”. Through these postmen, India Post reaches all over India. It is these Post Men who is going to save India Post.

To survive, India Post has to redefine its business. It is a paradox that even with this reach, India Post have not been able to convince the corporate players to give them business. The problem was with the service delivery. This public sector giant has not yet learned the art of marketing. To my knowledge there is no marketing people running around to capture business for this company. With the postmen taking a visit to each locality everyday, India Post has not used this reach to capture any business.

Let us look this business in another angle. Here is a company who knows each lane, each house and each corner of India have its staff visiting the houses and is more often welcomed by the households. If you are in charge of such a business, what will you do?
Would you like to sell some thing to these households? Yes India Post is selling financial services like Insurance and savings. Infact Postal bank is one of the largest savings bank in India with a whopping 120 Mn customers. But I haven’t come across a single person who tried to sell me a Savings account or a Kisan Vikas Patra or a recurring deposit. Yes I get mail from ICICI bank to invest in PO savings scheme through them!!!!!!

Just like the resurrection of Indian Railways by focusing on the profitable freight business, India Post has to wake up and leverage on the massive network they have created. It requires a cultural change in the organization. The cutthroat competition calls for cutthroat selling attitude. With the Postman reaching the houses everyday, India Post has to refocus their business strategy for mere delivery of letters to doing business with the households.