When the digital age swept across the world as early as the 1980s, sectors like postal services could not sit still.
A revolution was on the horizon and the realm of communication, particularly sending and receiving messages, was about to change for good.
In Kenya, the first internet connection went live in 1993 with full internet access coming in 1995. For the naysayers, the Postal Corporation of Kenya, popularly referred to as Posta, was given a few years to wind up and its massive infrastructure almost became obsolete and the thousands of employees sent packing.
But, when KNA visited Posta Wundanyi to keep tabs on what became of the services, almost three decades after the dawn of the digital revolution in Kenya, the reality of the predicted ‘doom’ for the pre-colonial Corporation could not be far from the truth
As we entered the open door of the post office on a chilly morning in Wundanyi, KNA reporters were greeted by the smiling Postmaster Mr. Levy Musungu.
Mr. Musungu had just received the baggage of one client, a police officer who had been transferred to Nairobi. In the storage room, our reporter could see a metal box, bedding neatly wrapped into a nice bundle, and an assortment of household utensils and kitchen appliances in cartons.
“He’s just been transferred to Nairobi, and he wants us to transport his belongings there. He will have everything delivered to his new address in 24 hours,” said a delighted Musungu after seeing the many questions written on our faces.
The Postal Corporation of Kenya did not sit and wait to be pushed out of relevance but instead adapted to survive as Musungu humorously put.
“The corporation had to adapt to remain relevant. We had to brand ourselves into a digital-savvy outfit so to speak,” Musungu remarked with a smile appearing on one corner of his lips.
The Postal Corporation of Kenya now offers financial services such as MoneyGram that parents can easily use to pay school fees. One can also deposit and withdraw money via Mpesa.
In the courier space, the corporation has a national and global network to send and receive packages. It has also ventured into moving services that are now heavily used by security officers when deployed to any corner of the country.
On the digital front, Posta has automated its systems, and everything is processed automatically. Though a far cry from its former glory, Posta remains relevant in the shifting communication and information landscapes.
KNA learned that the Posta services are not only affordable but also very reliable thanks to the corporation’s wide reach and efficiency.
“We have footprints in every corner of Kenya, and we deliver to the remotest address. We only need people to know about our services to compete fairly with the private players,” Mr. Musungu further added.
The only recipe lacking in the Postal Corporation of Kenya’s competitive edge is advertising to more people to know of the new frontiers of its services.
It appears that the once hugely popular Posta is not what many predicted it would be: a technological dinosaur. With proper marketing, and aggressive advertising; the Postal Corporation of Kenya can surpass its years of glory and become a key player in the information, communication, courier, and moving services in Kenya