The Department of Posts has the biggest reach with over 1,55,000 post offices. Also, the domain knowledge, especially of the postmen, is unquestionably far superior to any other organization. In fact many organizations like Registrar General of India and even municipal corporations and a host of other public and private organizations rely on domain knowledge of the postmen for surveys, verification etc. Most customers who value their mail trust only Post Office to deliver. In fact there are many occasions of large corporates going back to India Post, even at higher prices, after they found that percentage of articles returned/remaining un-delivered in the case of Post Offices was less than 1% compared to about 20% in case of other competitors like private couriers or Angadias.
The fact that Speed Post traffic grew at nearly 40% last year (2007-2008) compared to market growth of estimated 20%, clearly shows that Speed Post continues to grow from strength to strength, and is the market leader in express business.
Speed Post traffic in Maharashtra & Goa Postal Circle grew at nearly 50% last year (2007-2008) compared to about 40% at All-India level. In fact, Speed Post traffic and revenue has been growing at a robust rate in recent years.
For over 100 years, law has already provided for a monopoly to India Post for booking, transmission to imposing penalties. It has sought to hold its place in the market by providing quality service, and has been reasonably successful in that, as explosive growth in Speed Post traffic would testify.
Though fundamentals of Indian economy continue to be sound, the country is no longer an island. There has been some real, and some perceptional, effect on the financial sector in India in the wake of global financial meltdown. Investors did have a re-think on their options. Even at the best of times, a sound investor spreads his risk, and keeps a good share of his investible income in secure instruments. Post Office has always offered a range of such secure investment/savings options like Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) Recurring Deposits (RD), Time Deposits, Public Provident Fund (PPF), NSS and various Savings Certificates.
In the wake of recent uncertain financial climate, a much larger number of investors have re-discovered the wisdom of investing/saving with the Post Office. Though the exact figures would become available in the next few days, it is already clear that the investment in Post Office savings schemes has increased substantially.
Maharashtra Postal Circle has the largest number of live Post Office Savings accounts in the country and the number has been increasing every year. The number of Life Savings Accounts in Maharashtra Postal Circle has been increased from 1.59crores in 2004-05 to 1.92crs in 2007-08. The gap between revenue and expenditure had been narrowing down significantly till before the pay revision on account of acceptance of recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission.
The number of new products and services is very wide ranging. A few of these are:
* A massively augmented Speed Post network that touches every city and town in the country; and a very competitive rate of Rs.12 for local (including suburbs), and One India One Rate of Rs.25 for any where in India for articles weighing upto 50gms. In addition, volume discounts, pick up and credit facility is also available. Tear & water resistant envelopes are also being introduced soon for Speed Post.
* Total mailing solutions, including pre-mailing facilities like printing, addressing, folding, inserting, enveloping, sealing, franking, mailing and more under the brand Business Post.
* Bill Mail Service at very competitive price of Rs.3per local article and National Bill Mail Service (NBMS)@Rs.5 per article other places. The NBMS has a free Electronic Intimation of Delivery (e-IOD) facility bundled with it.
* Electronic Intimation of Delivery (e-IOD) facility@ only 50 paise per article for all classes of article, including greetings, Bill Mail Service etc.
* Customized business solutions and business packages for corporate customers. For example, setting up of Mail Business Centre, dispatching mail directly from premises of customers to destinations (sometimes even by hiring dedicated private transport for the same), installation of franking machines online in the mail preparation lines of customers and their mailers.
* Address verification and Address database Curing facilities at reasonable prices to ensure that your mail pieces do not get mis-delivered or delayed.
In the next few days, the India Post is also going to introduce Worldnet Express, a new world class, time bound international express service from select cities in India, in collaboration with Deutsche Post. The booking will be done by select post offices, and transmission from India and delivery in foreign countries would be done by Deutsche Post. Complete track & trace facility and time bound delivery would be a part of the standard service.
India Post in Mumbai is going to be the gateway for international parcel traffic, activation of post offices based international network for international money remittance etc.
India Post will introduce hand held devices for delivery of Speed Post articles. A pilot for this is likely to start operations within 2 months. Vehicles would be provided to deliver staff to affect delivery in a more efficient manner and to cover larger territory.