Why Post isn't going anywhere

The Uber-fuelled economy of everything-on-an-app has done well to make the good old Post Office seem obsolete.

When everything is an email, why do you even need to send someone a paper document? And even if you did have to send paperwork across town, why would you go to the ancient temple of bureaucracy1 when you could call a guy from an app?

Because the Post isn’t obsolete yet.

Without getting into the uselessness of keeping paper records of contracts and invoices, whenever I have to send paperwork to someone, I always go to the post office to send it via speed post.

There is a post office within 500 metres of everywhere people live. It costs less than spare change to send the speed post. And the inconvenience of having to walk to the post office and maybe wait in a queue is counterbalanced by the joy of feeling like a real person.

And the best part?

The post is always delivered. Within a day. Or two. And it never gets lost.

Now compare that to the guy-from-the-app alternative.

The conveniences: the guy comes home to collect your “parcel” at any time of the day or week and delivers it in about as much time as it takes to drive from your location to the destination.

The cons:

  1. It only works within the same city.
  2. It costs at least 10x more than a speed post.
  3. It is not standardised.
  4. The guy often complains about cash versus online payment.
  5. There is a lot of calling, instructing and coordinating involved.
  6. There has to be someone present at the destination to receive it.
  7. There is no established fallback mechanism in case of an unexpected situation.

The guy-from-the-app is a welcome addition to our morbidly couched existence. But when it comes to sending paperwork, nothing beats the post.

Be a real person. Send a speed post today.

Or tomorrow between 9 AM to 2:30 PM, barring lunch hours.

Last weekend, I read about how growth in the Indian fashion e-commerce industry has slowed down. Praveen Gopal Krishnan from The Ken attributes this to an impenetrable ‘wall’

For over a decade, fashion e-commerce grew by convincing people who’ve always bought clothes offline to change their behaviour and move online instead. For over a decade, they did this easily, and faced little resistance from offline fashion.

Now that has changed. Earlier, I wrote that it almost feels like Myntra, Flipkart Fashion, and the others have run into a wall.

I believe that wall is offline fashion.

… the wall is simply impenetrable for online fashion e-commerce companies.

I think this has something to do with why my Post Office rant above. You figure out what.

Anyway, how have you been? Happy new year! You might hear more from me in the next months. I make no promises.

But if you must know, I have been working on something fun in my secret laboratory. Here’s a sneak peek –

Looks pretty, doesn’t it? Let’s hope it stays that way. Wish me luck.

Tell me your new year resolution, or lack thereof.

Get married this year? I want more of you to partake in this delectable chaos.

As always, email or text.

Want some of my existential nonsense in your inbox?
Cheers! See you soon.

  1. the post office is the temple, the bank is the fortress, and the gorment office is the botanical garden of bureaucracy ↩︎

Last modified: Jan 10, 2024