The company that transformed India's passport offices is also working on post offices

The company that transformed India's passport offices is also working on post offices
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), an Indian IT firms, deploys tech solutions to improve India's postal services.BCCL

  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the same company that upgraded India’s passport offices, is now working on tech solutions for 150,000 post offices in India.
  • The Indian postal service, or India Post, is currently the biggest loss making public service undertaking (PSU) of the Indian government.
  • The multi-year contract between TCS and the Department of Posts (DoP) is aimed at finding new revenue sources — one of those being e-commerce.
The Indian government’s struggling postal service, India Post, and currently its biggest loss making public service enterprise, is getting an upgrade — again.

In an effort to make its 150,000 post offices across the country more efficient, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has been roped in for a major tech upgrade.

TCS is the same company that, along with the Ministry of External Affairs, revamped India’s passport services through the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) initiative and ‘Student Connect’.
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In Uttar Pradesh, we are better placed now because of data analytics. As the demand grew, we geared ourselves adequately. We diverted people, created more counters and camps and allocated more resources to the state. All this has been possible because of timely analysis of data.

Muktesh K Pardeshi, Joint Secretary and Chief Passport Officer, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)

The postal service’s new system is capable of processing over three million postal transactions per day while providing services to over 40,000 concurrent users with the help of 500,000 employees to help with the ₹1.5 trillion ($22 billion) loss reported by the Department of Posts (DoP) in FY19.

Currently, its main sources of revenue are its popular saving scheme, its payments bank and particularly, its e-commerce portal. However, its traditional services have suffered for the past many years.

In the age of technology, postal services seem to have lost their importance as traditional mail is replaced by text messages and emails. Even the courier service industry has multiple players driving down prices and exclusivity.

While India Post has historically relied on its financial services offerings as a big source of revenue, it made a foray in the fin-tech space in 2018, a move that is expected to help it turn profitable.

India Post’s connectivity in rural areas extends to 130,000 access points, which is two and a half times the number of rural bank branches. But, even there, business has been slow due to the lack of warehousing facilities.

According to the company, aside from mail operations, the upgrade should also help with finance and accounting, human resource functions and improving connectivity between the post offices.

It’s estimated that the losses for India Post will only continue to increase are salaries grow but revenues aren’t able to catch up. Hopefully, the ₹11 billion ($160 million) contract that has been in place between TCS and the DoP since 2013, will help India’s postal service find a way out.

See also:
After a payments bank, the Indian postal service now plans to launch an insurance firm

E-commerce shipping a great business opportunity for India Post

With colourful uniforms and caps, India Post staff is set for a smart makeover