Indian Postal Service

The Department of Posts (DOP),trading as India Post, is a government-operated postal system in India, which is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Communications. Generally called “the Post Office” in India, it is the most widely distributed postal system in the world. Founded in 1854 by Lord Dalhousie who laid the foundation for the modern Indian postal service. Dalhousie introduced uniform postage rates (universal service) and helped to pass the India Post Office Act 1854 which significantly improved upon 1837 Post Office act which had introduced regular post offices in India. It created the position Director General of Post for the whole country.

It is involved in delivering mail (post), remitting money by money orders, accepting deposits under Small Savings Schemes, providing life insurance coverage under Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) and providing retail services like bill collection, sale of forms, etc. The DoP also acts as an agent for Government of India in discharging other services for citizens such as old age pension payments and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) wage disbursement. With 155,015 post offices, India Post has the most widely distributed postal network in the world.

The country has been divided into 23 postal circles, each circle headed by a Chief Postmaster General. Each circle is divided into regions, headed by a Postmaster General and comprising field units known as Divisions. These divisions are further divided into subdivisions. In addition to the 23 circles, there is a base circle to provide postal services to the Armed Forces of India headed by a director-general. One of the highest post offices in the world is in Hikkim, Himachal Pradesh operated by India Post at a height of 14,567 ft (4,440 m).

Many a times we use essential services of an organization without knowing details of source. MBA Aspirants are expected to have curiosity to know even the known but unknown organization like Indian Postal service.   

The Indian Postal Service, known as India Post, was founded in 1774 and today, it has over 100,000 post offices all over the country. In fact, India has the largest postal network in the world, with close to 90% of the post offices located in rural areas. The Indian Postal Service comes under the Department of Posts, which is a part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

India Post offers both retail and financial services to over one billion people in India. Apart from providing bill mail, direct mail and retail mail services, India Post also provides the e-Payment service through which organizations can collect their bills and other payments from customers across the country.   

India Post has changed the way people look at post offices – in the past, a post office was simply a place for people to post letters; however, today, India Post has partnerships with other organizations such as the Indian Railways and HDFC Bank to provide other services too. Now, people can book train tickets at selected post offices through the India Post Passenger Reservation System and purchase foreign currency and travelers cheques with the India Post Forex Service. Gone are the days when organizations would only provide a service or two. To stay ahead of the competition and to provide better service to the public, both government organizations and private companies are diversifying their services, and India Post is no stranger to this business model.   

Some of the popular financial services offered by India Post are the Post Office Savings Schemes and the Postal Life Insurance. In fact, the Post Office savings bank is the oldest and the largest banking system in the country, providing services to both rural and urban dwellers.   

Financial services at India Post are offered as an agency service for the Ministry of Finance and they have helped millions of people nationwide. India Post keeps up with the trends in the industry and has come up with remittance schemes to help people living in India to transfer money to their family and friends abroad and vice-versa.   

The business of Indian Postal Service is growing by leaps and bounds, which is why the organization is keen on establishing the “Post Bank of India”, an independent entity with complete focus on financial products and services. With the advent of technology, many people, especially those in urban areas, have started sending electronic mails, which not only saves time but also money. This is one of the reasons why majority of the post offices are located in rural parts of India. However, this does not mean that the demand for postal services in India is decreasing.   

In fact, with the diversification of services, the Indian Postal Service has managed to increase its customer base and enhance its revenue significantly. Today, the Indian Postal Service employs over 450,000 people and generates revenue of over Rs 70,000 million on an annual basis. With greater investments in IT infrastructure and diversification of its product portfolio, the Indian Postal Service will be able to cross the Rs 100,000 million mark in a few years.