Thursday, September 3, 2015
Yesterday was a sad day for Punjab Circle. Everyone is stunned to hear the sad news. Smt Sukhvinder Kaur, Postmaster General, Punjab West Region, Chandigarh passed away at PGIMER Chandigarh fighting with cancer, leaving behind two daughters and husband. She also worked as Sr Supdt Post Offices, Patiala, Director Postal Services (HQ) and Director Postal Services (R) in the Circle. Department has lost a truly gentle lady. A void created by her would be hard to fill. Association conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and prays Almighty to rest soul in peace.
Monday, August 17, 2015
India Post An Unknown Wonder
· Everyone is repeating the same wordings that India Post is a giant organisation having 150 years of tradition with above 1,50,000 branches across the country. Yes, it is true, this is the largest postal network in the world, but actually no one knows more about India Post and its depth.
· Common men think that it is only a mail handling organisation with limited scope of operations. Even educated people have no idea about what is going on in India Post and they think that employees of India Post have nothing to do at his/her work place since the mail volume has been reduced considerably and the importance of mail communication has been questioned.
· More over people outside the organisation including main stream Medias has not given much attention to the technological and operational aspects of India Post. They think that this organisation is still working with mail business only through old mechanism. That is why they are highlighting only the number of Post Offices as its strength.
· If you analyse India Post and its operations deeply, you can see that so many wonders are there to highlight other than reach or network of India Post. That is the reason why I have given this heading for this article. Here I am trying to reveal the actual wonders in the form of statistics which is unknown to everybody.
· This article is mainly targeted for persons who have little knowledge about business and technological side of India Post.
WONDER NO. 1
Technology or Software aspects
· India Post is continuing its glorious service even in the revolutionized telecommunication era. This is only because of various technological implementations in the Department of Post. Unfortunately the technological side of India Post is still a mystery for majority of people.
· People especially outside the organisation think that that much technological advancement has not been happened in India Post. And also think that Post Offices are working in traditional system with minimum software support.
· But while analysing the technological side of India Post, it is clear that no other organisation in India is using this much number of software and web application in their day to day work. Post Offices are mainly using 38 software and 22 web based applications in their day to day work. Small software or tools designed for a special purpose is not included in this figure.
· Most interesting part is that if we consider a single handed Sub Post Office, the Sub Postmaster (The only official authorised to do all the office work) has to operate 19 software and 12 web applications for completing the daily work and taking the final report ( Daily Account in Post Offices)without any issue.
· Each Head Post office will have minimum of 31 databases except SOSB DB of Sub-offices for running all software. That means an HO with 30 SOs will have total of 61 databases. Each Sub-office will have minimum of 21 databases.
· Someone may ask that why should India Post uses this much applications and why don’t they incorporate all features in a single application.
· You will understand why India Post is using this much applications while reading the second part of this article (i.e., Wonder No. 2). While coming to the second question, each software using in Dop is a complete package with enormous windows and options. So incorporating features of all software in a single application is not an easy task. But it is expecting a change in this by the introduction of new CSI project in near future.
1 Point of Sale
6 SB Cash
7 Indian Postal Order
14 Accounts- Other bill
15 Accounts- NPC
19 Accounts-Bank Reconciliation
21 Sanchay Post-Online Transaction and data entry module
22 Sanchay Post- SOSB online and data entry module
23 Sanchaya Post- SBCO module
24 V2SBCO and LAN2V2
25 BNPL Parcel
28 ePayment Client
35 CC Bridge
36 Signature scanning software.
37 EFMS All in one tool
38 Dropbox/Google drive
40 Agent Portal
41 Mc camish
46 Customer Care Centre portal
47 RMFS (Remotely Managed Franking Machine) website
48 PLI/RPLI sites (Different logins are there for separate purposes)
49 eMO website (Separate logins for different access groups)
50 ePayment website (Separate logins for different access groups)
51 Speednet website (Separate logins for different access groups)
52 RNet website (Separate logins for different access groups)
53 ParcelNet website (Separate logins for different access groups)
54 SPCC Configuration website
55 Accounts MIS website
56 MNOP monitoring website
57 Project Arrow websites
58 Western Union POS / Translink
59 MoneyGram web application
60 Web mail service
· Software development and maintenance part are another interesting area in this organisation. Unlike other organisation, India Post have two dedicated software development centres, one at Mysore (CEPT Mysore) and another at Chennai (SDC Chennai).
· CEPT Mysore produces and gives support for majority of applications (Both web and non-web applications) and acting as technology hub of India Post. One Data Centre (DC) and one Data Recovery Centre (DRC) are located at CEPT Mysore.
· Central Servers in connection with eMO, ePayment, Speed Post, Registered and other web applications including India Post websites are deployed in the Data Centre at CEPT Mysore.
· Servers of Core Banking application and McCamish are deployed in hired Data Centre under the ownership of Reliance at Navi Mumbai. The Data Recovery Centre (DRC) for these applications is located at CEPT Mysore.
· SDC Chennai on the other hand gives support for Sachay Post and related software and playing a vital role in the process of CBS migration. Data Migration Command Centre (DMCC), Chennai is working as part of SDC Chennai.
· At the same time India Post is using Finacle, a global banking solution from Infosys to meet the competition from banking sector and McCamish from Infosys to fulfil the insurance needs of Dop. A big project from TCS is in progress to revolutionise other areas of operations.
· Another notable point is that this organisation has implemented these cutting edge technologies without recruiting or hiring technical staffs from outside. There is trained pool of staffs in India Post called System Administrators who are well-versed in Server and Domain environment, Database Administration, Network Administration, Hardware engineering, Training and troubleshooting.
· Wonders in the technological side are not ending with this much. We will continue discussing this matter in future also.
WONDER NO. 2
While considering the number of services
· As I said earlier majority of the people think that Department of Post is handling only mail related items including booking and delivery. But the actual picture is different. We can say without any doubt that India Post is the only organisation in India especially under Government sector that deals with this much variety of services and operations under one roof.
· Even though it is difficult to classify the services or operation of India Post, According to my opinion, we can broadly classify the operations in to five categories.
1. Postal operations
2. Banking business
3. Insurance business
4. Money Remittance service
5. Other Business
Postal operations :-
· Mail operation alone is a huge activity of India Post. It starts from booking of an article and ends with its delivery. In between booking and delivery a bigger activity is involved that is sorting of article which is carried out by RMS (Railway Mail Service) division. RMS is a vital part of India Post but common man have no idea about RMS and its activity.
· Everyone knows mail activities, but I am trying to give you a statistics of these activities in order to assess the size of this business. Apart from sorting, despatching and delivery of mails, India Post is providing wide range of services according to the need of customer. Totally around 46 services have been providing in connection with mail operation. The list is as under
1 Sale of Stamps
2 Post card
3 Inland Letter Card
5 Insured letter
6 VP letter
7 Insured VP Letter
9 Book Packet
10 Book Packet containing periodicals
11 Book Packet containing printed books
12 Pattern or Sample packets
13 Registered News paper
14 Blind Letterature
16 VP Parcel
17 eVP Parcel
18 eVP Letter
19 Insured Parcel
20 Insured VP Parcel
21 Air mail parcel
22 Sea mail Parcel
23 SAL Parcel
24 Inland Speed Post
25 Insured Speed Post
26 Forein Speed Post
27 Express Parcel
28 Business Parcel
29 Express Parcel COD
30 Business Parcel COD
31 Speed Post COD
32 Business Reply Speed Post
33 Logistic Post
34 Bill mail service
35 Direct Post
36 Media Post
37 Speed Post Passport Service
38 ePost ( Retail & Corporate)
39 Meghdoot Post card
40 Greeting Post
41 Inland Flat Rate Parcel
42 Forein Flat Rate Parcel
43 Reply Post Card
44 Post Box/Post Bags
45 Competion Post Card
46 e-IOD ( Electronic Intimation On Delivery)
Banking business :-
· India Post is dealing with all types of deposits like any other commercial banks. The only difference is that India Post is not empowered to transact on loan transaction. The strength of India Post in banking sector is far better than any other Nationalised banks in India.
· I have already depicted the strength of Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) in my post “India Post to shake Nationalised Banks and Indian Banking industry”
· Now India Post is introducing Core Banking Solution (CBS) in Post Offices. It is planning to connect 25000 Post Offices across the country through CBS by the end of 2016. ATM facility has been started in selected locations and it will spread to 3000 location by the coming years.
1 Basic Saving Account
2 Savings Account (with or without cheque)
3 Ruccuring Deposit
4 Term Deposit
5 Monthly Income Scheme
6 Senior Citizen Saving Scheme
7 Public Provident Fund
8 National Saving Scheme
9 Kisan Vikas Patra
10 National Saving Certificate
11 Sukanya Samridhi Account
12 Indira Vikas Patra
Insurance Business :-
· India Post is the major player in the insurance sector in India like any other public or private sector insurance companies. But the strength of Postal Life Insurance is not comparing anywhere even in the IRDA annual report.
· India post introduced Postal Life Insurance (PLI) in 1884 and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) in 1995. Now it is offering total of 12 types of policies under these two categories. They are as under.
List of Postal Life Insurance policies
1 Suraksha (Whole Life Assurance)
2 Suvidha (Convertible Whole Life Assurance)
3 Santosh (Endowment Assurance)
4 Sumangal (Anticipated Endowment Assurance for 15 and 20 Years)
5 Yugal Suraksha (Joint Life Endowment Assurance)
6 Bal Jiwan Bima (Children Policy)
7 Gram Suraksha (Whole Life Assurance)
8 Gram Suvidha (Convertible Whole Life Assurance)
9 Gram Santosh (Endowment Assurance)
10 Gram Sumangal (Anticipated Endowment Assurance for 15 and 20 Years)
11 Gram Priya ( 10 years RPLI)
12 Bal Jiwan Bima (Children Policy)
· When you compare the statistical figures with LIC of India, the market leader in Indian having more than 71% market share, you can see that the market share of Postal Life Insurance is not negligible.
A picture of contribution of public and private sector insurance companies during the financial year 2012-13 is as follows.
Money Remittance :-
· Money Order and Postal Order were the only means of money remittance in olden days, but now scenario has changed a lot and various e-enabled services has come into existence. In order to compete with these changes, India Post has introduced a couple of new money transfer services. Following are the money transfer services available in Post Offices.
1. Ordinary Money Order
2. eMO (Electronic Money Order)
3. iMO (Instant Money Order
4. IPO( Indian Postal Order)
5. e-IPO (Electronic IPO)
6. FPO (Field Postal Order)
7. IFS MO (MO through International Financial System)
8. MO Videsh ( Discontinued in February 2015)
9. Mobile Money Transfer
10. Western Union Money Transfer
12. Electronic Fund Management System (EFMS)
13. DBT through CPSMS
14. Electronic Clearing System(ECS)
Other Business :-
· In addition to above said product or services, India Post is dealing with some other services also. Most of them are e-enabled services, they are
1. Remotely Managed Franking Machine (RCVMFS)
3. Retail Post
4. Sale of Mutual Fund
5. Sale of Penta phones
6. My Stamp
7. Railway Ticket booking
8. Air Ticket booking
9. Cable TV licence issue
10. Pack Post
11. Post Shope
12. Philatelic Deposit account
· Here number of parties or organisations using ePayment and Retail Post services is varying in different circles.
· Following are the consolidated view of number of product or services of India Post.
1 Postal/Mail Operation 46
2 Banking 12
4 Money Remittance14
· An organisation especially under the control of Government providing 91 types of service/product is truly a wonder. I can say without any doubt that no other organisation in India is providing this much number of services to its customers.
· Another wonder is that there is no separate recruitment for separate category of business. Each employees of India Post especially Postal Assistants and Postmaster should have thorough knowledge about each and every service of India Post and its related rules. This shows the flexibility and potential of Postal employees. Unfortunately they are comparing with bank employees and clerical staffs in the other Government departments.
In conclusion, India Post is a bundle of wonders and it cannot be compared with any other organisation in India since the reach and depth of India Post cannot be measured with single criteria. In the profitability aspects, India Post is still working as a service oriented organisation with lot of social obligation. Comparing the profitability alone is not feasible at its existing structure.