In a major move at decentralization of a government service to take on private players, India Post has announced that it has tweaked its internal policies to enable it to offer its end-to-end parcel delivery services to the ecommerce firms. This could be a path-breaking attempt by a government owned service turning itself into an alert system that can quickly fix the rates for delivery of parcels and much beyond.
Inaugurating the new arrangement, Union Minister Manoj Sinha informed that the government has formed a new setup, the Parcel Directorate. There are systems in place to decentralise the process of deciding on the parcel delivery rates. Thereās a dedicated ecommerce portal of India Post as well now.
The portal will allow vendors and the ecommerce firms to register themselves and make bookings. The service will be available for both ways, vendors to reach their products to the ecommerce firms and for the ecommerce firms to deliver their parcels to their customers across the country. Incidentally, India Post has one of the best networks in India with the remotest of villages being covered by its delivery service via the 1.55 lakh post offices. This would definitely offer it an edge over the private players and if handled correctly, it can be a very successful model.
In addition to all these, India Post is ready to handle the returns also, which is an important aspect of the ecommerce ecosystem. India Post has a robust background in the parcels and courier business and has built a brand equity for itself.
It remains to be seen how much the ecommerce players in the country utilize the new India Post service. As mentioned, the network that the postal department has is quite formidable and with the improved internet connectivity and the increased focus on tier 2 and tier 3 cities, the opportunity there to be grabbed for both the stakeholders.