A post about the Post
Did you ever wonder how our post office is doing now that email has swamped the nation? Well, I did, and therefore this post. To start with, we are the largest in the world, reach-wise.
Here’s the chart:
Postal network — International Comparisons
True there are those who have reasons to criticize our postal system which is unwieldy because of labour laws (which means you can’t downsize or streamline), but I think that taking this into consideration we are doing great. We have to admit that our postal system is a giant, a giant corporation not focused on profits. Its a subsidized government public service. However, I feel that we shouldn’t simply dismiss or hate our postal system (which people are wont to do nowadays) as its got its good points. Why not see things in perspective?
Its not as if they have not modernized at all. Some of their relatively new initiatives are:
1. Their Speed Post courier service. Well, it costs just Rs 12 for local deliveries…what do you get for that much nowadays in India?
2. They have a Business Post service, what they call total mailing solutions.
3. ePayment too, for paying your bills. I bet you didn’t know that one.
4. One of the best and innovative things they have done is their epost. This service was launched in 2004. People can now simply sent an email from various post offices (or from the post website) and have it delivered in the form a letter to remote places. A modern technology put to the service of the people.
There there are other things like 5. Postal Life Insurance, 6. Money Order Service, 7. International Money Transfer service, and 8. MediaPost through which a company can use for direct mailing services.
9. Their website isn’t bad either…you can even find your pincode out there.
A little history
You can find the history of Indiapost at the wiki site. As you have probably guessed, it was the British who did it. They established post offices in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata from 1764-1766…
In need of greater modernization
True, the department of Indian Posts needs to become profitable pronto…considering that we are supposedly aiming to become a modern economy. But with all its faults, I do admire Indiapost’s ability to deliver letters from one remote village to another door to door and at ridiculously low rates. Their biggest strength is its network and because of that it can get pretty hard to run! A network of 1.5 lakh post offices! BUT, as long as our postal system cannot streamline its employees due to labour laws, cannot shut down non-profitable post offices (don’t know whether that would be ideal) and cannot increase prices, its going to remain a financial mess.
Personally, I have always had a good experience with the Indian postal service. And continue to have it. Some tell me that their letter was misplaced or their package lost…but I have ordered books from Amazon.com and they have reached me in good condition – all delivered by Speedpost. Perhaps some criminal infested districts in the country have a problem…but they have an overall law and order problem.
Will leave you with some images of a few new stamps. I was a fanatical collector of stamps when I was in school and stamps have never ceased to interest me:
Note: Source of the table : Dept. of Posts.
* All figures pertain to the year 2002 and have been drawn from the UPU publication on Statistics, December, 2003.
** As on 31.3.2003.
*** All figures pertain to the year 2001 and have been drawn from the UPU publication on Statistics, December, 2003
Related Reading: The inefficiency of the post office