By Mohamed Alaa Eldin
Egypt Post plans to increase its revenues by 10%, and implement a number of strategic projects, according to the company’s chairman, Khaled Negm. These projects include investing real estate assets, generating electricity through solar power generators, entering into the field of electronic commerce, and improving IT infrastructure. The latter goal will be achieved through an electronic archiving project as well as developing employees’ skills, Negm said.
What are Egypt Post’s strategic plans for the coming phase?
We have a strategy to develop services provided by Egypt Post and expand its revenues. This strategy can be summarised through completing the IT infrastructure and automating the remaining 3,000 Egypt Post branches by the end of December 2015. Egypt Post is also planning to standardise the ‘one-stop shop’ investment window system for all its branches this year, which will help provide all services required by the client, whether they be mail-related or financial, through a one-window one-employee system for the entirety of the time in which the client is served. We also hope to improve this system, which has been implemented in 112 branches out of a total of 4,000.
We are also considering implementing an electronic archiving project to convert all paper documents to electronic ones, which will save a significant amount of space in Egypt Post’s offices and reduce the time required to provide service to the client. We are also currently considering investing in the unified national entity for communications infrastructure and are currently studying the size of the share we will contribute. We are also planning on taking advantage of the real estate assets owned by Egypt Post by leasing or selling them, in accordance with our plan to re-invest real estate assets. We are further looking into generating power through solar power generators that we will install on buildings affiliated with Egypt Post, generating highly rewarding returns at an estimated 16%-20% of the value of investment.
As for human resources, Egypt Post has set out a plan to develop employees’ skills, particularly those who work at customer service windows due to their close contact with customers. We hope to grant benefits to those employees in order to encourage them to improve their performance through commissions for the additional services he or she provides.
How many employees work at Egypt Post?
We have around 45,000 employees, 20,000 of whom are working at the windows. We will provide them with marketing and sales training over the next four years in order to be able to provide advanced postal services, especially since many customers are not familiar with Egypt Post services. We will work to market these services better in the near future, including online government services.
What is the volume of growth for customer deposits at Egypt Post?
Deposits grew from EGP 135bn at the beginning of 2014, to EGP145bn by the end of 2014, EGP95bn of which were thanks to investors from the National Investment Bank. The remainder hailed from investors from investment funds and the Egyptian Exchange.
You had plans to penetrate the e-commerce sector. What is the status of this initiative?
We are already looking into directly entering the field of e-commerce through Egypt Post’s administration or in collaboration with one of the companies already operating on that market. We have not yet made a final decision yet, but will develop an integrated vision over the next few days of e-commerce and the mechanisms for offering this service.
Why are you planning on working in e-commerce now?
We are planning on doing so for two reasons. First, there is a developmental side which helps individuals working in handicrafts industries to market their products through the website that will be created, which in essence will encourage emerging industries and the promotion of their products. The second reason is to maximise Egypt Post’s revenues and developing its services and taking advantage of the resources of the scattered branches all over the country with a fleet of transport capable of reaching any place in Egypt.
What are your plans for improving Egypt Post’s logistic services?
We are studying improving our logistical services by cooperating with a global company working in shipping in order to take advantage of their expertise to improve Egypt Post’s logistical services. We also plan to install a tracking system for 1,000 of Egypt Post’s vehicles under a plan that will be applied beginning from the 1st quarter (Q1) of the current year.
What are your plans for automating pensions?
Currently, there are 3.7m computerised pension cards and we have plans to automate 1.5m more by the end of the year. The Post also has a goal of delivering pensions to the homes of those who are unable to collect them in person at the post office.
What are your plans for developing the Egypt Post’s printing houses?
The Post’s printing houses are currently registering losses, previously operating at only 10% of capacity before they were developed. After this process, the printing houses began working at 47% of capacity, and we will study how to market the institutions in the coming phase. We are also planning to submit a bid for the tender launched by the Ministry of Education to print government school textbooks as part of our plans to invest better in the printing houses.
How have you secured post offices from theft?
We installed CCTV cameras inside and outside in 400 post offices at a cost of EGP500m. However, theft does not always originate from the outside; unfortunately, some employees steal.
What are Egypt Post’s targeted revenue growth rates?
We plan to achieve a 10% growth in revenues to maintain profits achieved during fiscal year (FY) 2013/2014. Egypt Post recorded a financial surplus of approximately EGP250m during FY2013/2014, compared to EGP450m in losses during FY2012/2013. Egypt Post intended to expand remittance transfer services, particularly for Arab countries.