Thursday, September 03, 2015


CHENNAI: People in rural Tamil Nadu having no access to Internet can soon indulge in online shopping, thanks to an initiative of India Post. Called mVPaytm, India Post’s e-commerce platform will offer assisted online shopping in rural post offices across the State.

Mervin Alexander, Postmaster General, Chennai City Region, told Express that India Post has tied up with mVikarsha Mobile Solutions to offer the assisted shopping service. The tie-up will benefit rural customers who have the choice to select from a list of 1,000 items. After a pilot project at two postal divisions, mVikarsha got approval for expanding across all head and sub post offices in the State.

“Villagers will have to come to the post ofiice to place the order. The postal department official will log in on behalf of the customer and place the order. Once the order is placed, the item will be delivered to the post office and the customer will receive an SMS,” Alexander said. Initially, the service will be provided in 500 post offices. “This service will be offered only in rural areas as part of our effort to bridge the digital divide,” Alexander clarified.
To a query on what would be the revenue through the venture, Alexander said it was too early to talk about revenues. “It all depends on the patronage. After three months, we will get an idea. Revenue will be in the form of postal charges as well as commission from e-payment,” he added.

The development comes at a time when use of social media in rural India is growing. A report states that social media in rural Tamil Nadu has grown by nearly 100 per cent in the last one year with several million users residing in that belt, fuelling the desire to buy essential, aspirational and life style items in that order. The items include mobile phones, gold coins and jewellery, apparels, home and kitchen appliances, consumer durables, rechargeable lights, fans, etc.

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