Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Return to Sender, India Post Loses Rupees

Q: How many people work at the world's largest post office, India Post?

A: About half.

Well, actually they work half days, finishing their deliveries by noon. Due to so much competition from UPS and FedEx, India Post has lost half of its business in recent year. From today's WSJ, "
As Economy Zooms,India's Postmen Struggle to Adapt:"

India's vast postal service, the world's largest, highlights a little-understood feature of this nation's economic transformation. While India often draws criticism for its failure to sell its vast network of state-owned companies, the government has quietly been opening many of its agencies to blistering competition from private-sector rivals.

But as India lets its public sector get squeezed, it faces a big dilemma: What to do with these often huge and politically connected organizations during the painful transition period where they have to become competitive and profitable or extinct?

Once the pride of India's civil service, India Post and its predecessor, the British East India Co., controlled most mail delivery for centuries. But since a reform-minded government started allowing more competition in the 1990s, more-efficient private couriers have eaten deeply into India Post's business.


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