Said Mehrdad Fakher, the chairman of the board of The first private post operator of Iran.
This is the first official talk of the Tipax magazine focused on "the Private Post Operator".
_Dear Dr. Fakher, the Chairman of the Board of Directors in the first private post operator in the country. It is now about six months that the first private post operator of Iran got its license. Which progress has been made in the establishment and launch of this operator?
- The main part of this question should be answered by the CEO of the Operator, Mr. Rezaei, because he and his executive team are the leaders, and they are aware of the details of the progress in work more than me.
Yet, I could mention that during this six months the operator has been completed its structure and tried to study and evaluate the exact situation of the postal and courier industry of the country.
We are doing so to provide the optimal business model in accordance with the postal conditions in Iran and international environment with respect to the goals of Fakher Holding.
Post is a dynamic industry in the world. Our government’s decision to reduce its size is a key strategy for the dynamic and progress in this industry. The government and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology have made great efforts to achieve this goal.
It is now the duty of the private sector to demonstrate the outcome of this process in the society through its experiences and agility.
However, this will only happen with continued government and parliament supports.
Businesses that they want but cannot connect to the post!
- What is the operator's position on the roadmap of Fakher Holding? What are the goals of Fakher Holding for the Operator?
-What is considered for the operator in the main Holdings strategy is the development of business communications from the perspective of logistics and courier services. This is only possible by creating more opportunities for the profitability of these businesses. Opportunities such as potential postal customers, the discovery of dark markets, or the new services are resulting from the synergy of these businesses.
For example, value-added services (VAS) for postal businesses in many developed countries, help to increase business revenues and the aggregation of services.
The transfer is no longer the only duty of the post. Therefore, the operator should not only focus on the development of postal service quantity, but also should pay attention to basic postal services.
Certain things may seem obvious to businessmen or businesses that deal with the post and courier industry.
For example, it is clear that for improving the quality of mail services, several factors could be important for the receiver or sender at the time of sending, length of route or receipt. There are many factors such as speed and time of shipment, trustee, safety and protection of the package from damage, cost of delivery, ease of delivery and etc.
But what is not very clear is that many of these variables are directly or indirectly affected by the infrastructure. And if we do not improve the infrastructure, both consumers and businesses could not reach the goals that I said.
These infrastructures include communication and information technology infrastructure, transport infrastructure, infrastructures for financial exchange, legal issues, insurance and etc.
It could be interesting for many audiences that in several countries the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is integrated with the Ministry of Roads and has one minister.
Of course, it is clear that the operator cannot enter and operate in many of these cases. This means that the operator becomes the designer and implementer of a standard and up-to-date system, based on the local and national characteristics of our country.
The postal industry of our country and especially its private sector work locally and are almost unfamiliar with the international work space due to various reasons such as the traditional background of our postal activity, sanctions and many other problems.
As a result of low quality indicators and standards, we won’t be able to connect to the international market. We need to communicate with international companies to improve quantitative and qualitative indicators of the postal service. In this regard, it is imperative to have new and up-to-date systems and methods.
Here I would like to provide an example of one of the most important business topics which is e-commerce. E-commerce is one of the businesses that has entered and developed in Iran without considering the standard logistic infrastructures.
Online stores have developed the platform and user interface (UI) and financial transactions, but did not do nothing about goods exchange, supply chain and logistics and they failed to adapt themselves to the infrastructure. This causes dissatisfaction and, as a result, brand loses its attractions for the customer.
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba in China, points out this with a theory called “the Iron Triangle”. The triangle is a combination of e-commerce, logistics and finance.
It is very important that startups and new businesses, whether they are in the start-up phase or in the process of development, can get help from specialized consultancies and tailor their services to the standards of logistics systems. This can be a key opportunity for the operator to be one of these references.
The spectrum of these businesses is wide in terms of the financial outcomes and other terms such as cultural, geographic, age and diversity of business itself. For example, for a person working with a van on Mellat Street, who loads goods for three cities, it's a nightmare to hear the name of an operator. The use of terms such as standardization and the organization of the courier structure means bureaucracy and the fear of costs for that person and he thinks he has no profit from it. However, if we can fit ourselves with his mindset, he will come to us and accept our plan. We must first know his needs. This person does not have any insurance for a rainy day and there is no guarantee for those goods which carry from Tehran to specific cities in the country. There is no improvement for his income and If he wants to talk to his child about his job, he does not have a clear title or vision. These are all the pain points of our audience. This person is a small courier system which is an unstable one.
This instability can harm his own family, customers and society. The operator is responsible to organize this situation. And this position should be properly explained by the public relations and brand management specialists of the operator.
For a person working with a van on Mellat Street, who loads goods for three cities, it's a nightmare to hear the name of an operator.
-What do you expect as the chairman of the Board of Operator from its managers and staff?
- First of all, I want from management, and then from the public relations department of the operator, holding, Tipax and its other sister companies to clarify any ambiguity regarding the role and position of the operator. Many of the staff in the Holding congratulated me, put the posters in their branches, and were pleased that the Holding family has received the license of the first private postal operator. However, perhaps if one of their customers asks them about the operator, they cannot provide an explanation about the position and roles of the operator. Or worse than this, they give an explanation that is false and damages the operator's brand.
For example, one of the old employees of the branches told me: "It would be good if the operator lunches. nobody can threaten our business and smuggle”. Yet, this volume of investment and activities is not supposed to make us a so called “Big brother” in the postal industry.
As one of the major policymakers, I say that this is a wrong illustration about the operator. This the is not mission and vision of the operator that we want to stablish in the post industry. The operator should help small businesses, local couriers and even the government to expand their market and connect properly to the supply chain. If we were unable to build this platform, we could not properly capture the main task of the operator.
We should not destroy the brand of the “Operator”!
- What is the relationship between of the brand of Tipax and the Operator?
- Tipax has more than half a century experiences in the field of courier service, and perhaps this has also contributed to building the trust with the government and obtaining technical license. However, Tipax, TPX, or any other company that wants to participate in the post and courier services are the target audience for these development strategies of operator.
The certain position of operator is the organizer of the whole system of postal and courier service. In order to establish a transparent and fair order, it must behave in a way that all activists can achieve a win-win business. This this is only possible when we treat Tipax, TPX and other sister companies in the holding_ that interact with the postal system_ in a fair and honest way.
For example, one of the most important ethical principles in the operator is keeping the information of businesses secret. For that reason, the entire operator structure is designed and managed independently.
Even the majority of operator’s staff do not have any record as Tipax employees. The first principle of working in a healthy environment is to keep business data safe.
a continuous and win-win relationship requires fairness
- Can you explain about the name and the brand of the operator and its situation?
- We had good negotiations with reputable and experienced agencies for brand and naming and we also signed a contract. Good signs and logos are also designed. I hope their information programs are well implemented so that they can communicate with their main audience.
-Can I ask your opinion or, more precisely, your feelings about the post industry in Iran?
- According to my information, Iran has the first postal system in the world.
“...neither snow nor rain nor heat nor dark of night will keep these swift messengers from the accomplishment of their appointed rounds."
I'm proud to see this statement from Herodotus, which is installed on the door of the post office of James Farley in New York City, USA.
This sentence could be the slogan of the “Chapars” about 2500 years ago for the postal system that the Iranians invented and developed.
However, we are not proud of the todays status of post industry in Iran. I do not want to give you an exaggerated overview of the numbers and figures that managers provide from post and logistics.
We can say that, our rank is about 50th in the world in terms of quantity and number of postal items and a little higher than Turkey and Saudi Arabia in the region.
Moreover, we can say that the average delivery of items per person in Iran is about 8 packets per year, while the index is 50 in the world and we are far away from the first rank, the United States, with about 1000 items per year per person, or Switzerland which has the next rank with about 800 items per year per person.
The standard we need to reach is the Iranian satisfaction smile that we are still far from it!
I do not want to make a black-out or projection. Obviously, our current post, which has been re-launched and developed since the Qajar dynasty, is still young and endures harsh conditions such as sanctions and international pressures. I was born and raised in a post related family. my problem with the current status of the post is from qualitative rather than quantitative perspectives.
To assess the status of the post, it's enough to ask the micro-customers or businesses that deal with the courier and Post industry. Then we realize that we are still far from the standards we need to comply with. The result of that standard is the satisfaction of Iranians. Our people deserve more quality than what our post have today.
I am always proud of the post history in Iran. We can only pass this test if we will answer the needs of our ordinary customers, large businesses and International exchange in their desired quality.
God willing, with the support of authorities, your guidance and the efforts of your colleagues, we will achieve this great goal. Thank you for providing us and our audience with your time. Hopefully, we'll have another opportunity to get to know more about the details of your personal strategy in the field of Courier and Post.
It is a pleasure for me. Thank you and all the activists in the field of post and information.
Good bye and God bless you