Three decades ago, Tilak Ram was a mere part-time employee at India Post. Technically a Gramin Dak Sevak — an “extra departmental employee” — he has come a long way since. Today, Ram’s spartan office-cum-home in rural Laksar, in the northern state of Uttaranchal, is constantly bustling with people. The 53 year-old Ram is a postal worker outside the regular cadre; there are thousands of them across India. Over the years, he has become the single-point contact for over 6,000 rural households across 12 villages around Laksar to sell mobile phone cards and postal stationery, update post office savings bank accounts, deliver pension money, and collect postal life insurance premiums. Read this insightful article on Wharton’s blog India Knowledge Wharton.
This article also highlights the critical role postal networks can play in distributing microinsurance for poor families, which seems a very promising segment of postal financial inclusion, particularly well-suited to the needs of low-income people. It describes the challenges confronted by India Post in managing multiple partners and how the Post can effectively cooperate and compete with private sector companies.