India Post has signed a memorandum of understanding with Snapdeal.com & shopclues.com, as per which it will offer their e-commerce business a wider reach and network. This MoU follows a pilot between Snapdeal and India Post last year for e-commerce deliveries. It had been reported then that India Post will be building 20 mechanised warehouses and booking centres to handle the shipments from e-commerce companies.
For India Post, which already has that distribution network in place, and around 150,000 post offices. It can reach remote areas, and this allows it to increase revenues for an existing route. It’s a good move, and for all you know, where courier services choose not to deliver, there might be latent demand.
Interestingly, India Post has revamped its offering to include Cash on Delivery services, especially given the fact that it is a key requirement for e-commerce in India. Last year, it was reported that Amazon was piloting India Post’s cash on delivery offering.
The reach and distribution that India Post has, allows it to not just play in e-commerce deliveries: it’s post offices can double up as common service centers to offer Internet based e-governance services, apart from also working as banking correspondents and money transfer centers. Last year, it had offered money transfer services with mobile payments firm Beam, although, that probably did not last long, with Beam surrendering their mobile payments license.
According a note from India Post, it is “in the process of inducting new-age technology through an enterprise wide IT Project, at an approximate cost of Rs. 4909 crores, which will bring in electronic connectivity and capability across 1.5 lakhs Post Offices for seamless delivery of all mail & financial services.”