Come August 16, the country’s postal network — the largest in the world — will begin to get a facelift. On offer: a whole new experience to millions of consumers for whom the post office also is a bank, a money transfer agent, and, in many ways, a window to the world outside.
Using the tools of technology and marketing, the government hopes to transform the way post offices work — and there are some 158,000 of them in India with more than half a million mailboxes. To begin with, 500 post offices across the country will go for an upgrade, under what has been designed as ‘Project Arrow’.
Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Jyotiraditya Scindia will launch 51 of these branches through August 16 and 17, and the rest — to be identified in the next couple of weeks — will follow through the remaining part of the year. “It will transform the way people look at us,” Scindia said.
The Department of Post has roped in consulting firm Mckinsey & Co to work on a turnaround strategy, while advertising company Ogilvy and Mather has been commissioned to create a new logo and provide branding support.
The 500 post offices will have broadband and leased line connectivity to provide web-enabled services like e-post, instant money order, electronic money order, Internet-based customer care services.
“As a result of these initiatives, there is likely to be no delay in mail delivery,” Scindia said. “It will also ensure that there are no queues on service fronts.”
Additionally, Scindia said Grameen Daak Sewaks, who are not on the payrolls of the department but are the face of India Post in many parts of the country, will be given new allowances and benefits. “No one else offers the access and reach that they have. I have asked for new allowances along with increasing existing ones.”