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Saturday, November 22, 2014

India Post goes hi-tech

Eyes $9 billion business opportunity in e-commerce
Eyeing $9-billion business opportunity in the boo-ming e-commerce sector, India Post, which has the biggest network and serves the last mile, is boosting its infrastructure for real-time tracking of parcels through satellites using a new technology.
The postal department will also soon start an SMS facility to inform customers about delivery status of their parcels. India Post, which is already in tie-ups with e-commerce majors Ama-zon and Snapdeal, will also have security gadgets like CCTV to ensure safety of articles.
Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a meeting with officials in the department of posts has directed them to focus on opportunities in e-commerce and tune infrastructure to facilitate growth of the sector .
“The minister has asked India Post to leverage its reach to provide special facilities to local weavers, craftsmen/wo-men, painters and artists so that they also benefit from e-commerce,” a ministry official said.
The official said that the “postal department has started working on development of road transport network for parcel movement on majority routes with GPS facility. It is augmenting facility of secure area for parcels with access control and CCTV around it”.
As India Post estimates, e-commerce business in India was about $6 billion in value in 2012 and is expected to reach $76 billion by 2021. The distribution, delivery or log-istics constitutes approximately 12 per cent of the total e-commerce market accounting for about $9 billion by 2021.
India Post, which has world’s largest postal network of 1.55 lakh post offices, has seen multifold rise in business sin-ce the time it entered in partnership with e-commerce companies.
Amazon started booking parcels at one place with India Post in 2013 which has now expanded to five locations by Octo-ber 2014. “Amazon ship-ped 7,000 parcels in Janu-ary this year. By Octo-ber, number of articles booked in a month by Amazon rose to 85,000. Snapdeal send 2000-3000 parcels per day. Naaptol gives about Rs 25 crore business to India Post yearly,” he said.

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