Sometimes to add new energy to something you may have to change, breathe new life into it. And, then you may rustle up a lot of attention and interest too.
Let us talk about the Indian Postal Service, which is not really top-of-mind for any of us. But it has been whipping up a lot of eyeballs. A news that recently caught my eye was headlined – “Mark that special occasion with your own postage stamp”. Yes, as a new offering, they are giving you an opportunity to get stamped!
So, in these days of intricately planned weddings, don’t be surprised if someone mails you a wedding invite that displays photographs of the bride-to-be or groom on the postage stamp. Or for that matter, it could a birthday party invite with the photograph of the birthday boy or girl.
Getting out of their comfort zone, the Department of Posts (DoP) has taken the plunge to woo a wider audience, with an array of customised postage stamps. And, you will now be able to order customised postal stamps. And, the cost is nominal. A collection of 12 such stamps will cost around Rs 300. DoP is indeed playing big on philately for revenue growth.
This brings up many questions. Does anyone write letters anymore? How much are we aware or even involved with the local Post Office? Someone had asked me recently, “How much does a postage stamp cost, and where can I get one?” How many of us actually visit a Post Office and buy stamps to post letters? This form of communication had gone out of fashion long time ago.
In fact “the letter” surfaced a few months ago, when an 8-year-old boy from Bengaluru, wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to request his help to solve a problem and he also got a response.
The post offices are on to other stuff too. They have indeed switched gears. The staff moves from sorting out mail, to (hold your breath!) packaging and selling ‘Ganga jal’. Recent news concentrated on Rail Mail Service (RMS) Bhawan near Kashmere Gate, Delhi where a room had became a base for bottled Ganga! And, all this just weeks after Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad promised to have Ganga water delivered to people’s doorsteps via the Indian postal service. I believe, this scheme has become a hit not just in the national capital, but also in other states like Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Such was the interest generated, that since this took off, in the first week of July, the RMS Bhawan has dispatched over 49,000 bottles to 22 postal circles in the country. Many families are grateful for the scheme, as they don’t have to go to Rishikesh to get Gangajal. Now that it’s readily available, it saves them the trip!
The Postal Service is trying to replenish its image and is trying out new ways to engage its customers and to reach out to a wider audience; A move that’s part of a larger makeover process.
Taking its first step towards creating a new image, the Postal department unveiled its new logo last week. The interiors of the post offices have also undergone a change. If one may remember, the existing logo of India Post was designed in 1995, when the need for a change was felt, following the rapid strides taken by the Indian economy; and the need to create a newer and more energetic feel for the India Post.
The design of the logo is meant to signify India Post carrying emotions across physical distances. The colour – post office red symbolises the traditional association with post office, along with passion, power and commitment, while orange communicates hope, joy and happiness.
To carry the lines of engagement further, they also launched a logo and tagline design contest for the soon-to-be set up India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). The Department of Post wants to connect with and involve the people of India in designing the DNA of the India Post Payments Bank.
When you reach a crossroad, you have to decide on the route and move on. And, if you want to stay alive, you may have to change your tune…