P. Sujatha Varma

The department personnel will help people invest their money judiciously

Postmasters have been trained adequately to mobilise investors UTI Contra Fund is an open-ended equity-oriented scheme and is open till March 22Department on a modernisation spree

VIJAYAWADA: The Postal Department is entering into financial market by month-end, in Vijayawada region. As part of its decision to play a vital role in financial market, the department is gearing up to launch a postal finance mart at Vijayawada head post office in One Town. In Guntur district, a finance mart was launched on March 10.

The head post office has been segregated into financial and non-financial sections. The mart will deal exclusively with financial matters and the department personnel have been trained for the purpose. Their job will be to guide the investors on where and when to invest their money.

Mutual fund

As part of its new role, the department is marketing UTI Contra Fund, a mutual fund on behalf of the Unit Trust of India. Applications are available in all post offices across the region comprising six districts of Krishna, Guntur, Khammam, Prakasam, Nellore and West Godavari. "Mutual fund is a booming market and our aim is to attract investors from rural areas," explains B. V. Sudhakar, postmaster-general, Vijayawada region.

The postmasters have been trained adequately to mobilise investors by conducting seminars as part of the awareness drive.

The marketing drive was launched a fortnight ago and the efforts seem to be paying off. Last week, the department personnel could garner a business worth Rs. 2 lakhs in just two days.

Minimum risk

The UTI Contra Fund is an open-ended equity-oriented scheme, which is open till March 22. While the target is Rs. 5 crores, the postal staff have mopped up investments to the tune of Rs. 10 lakhs so far. "Going by the general investment trends in mutual funds, I am banking on the last few days when business reaches its peak," says Mr. Sudhakar.

Investors usually make mistakes in a predictable manner and the job of the postal department personnel is to prevent them from making such mistakes by enlightening them on the subject. "We have done an elaborate study to ensure minimum risk factor and see to it that the common man stands to gain in the bargain," he maintains.

New look

To enable the department personnel carry out their new roles effectively, the department has embarked on a modernisation-spree. The bulky files gathering dust on wooden tables will be replaced with sleek computers. Plush interiors will wipe out memories of the department's lumber strewn all over the building. Ergonomically designed counters and designing of the air-conditioned building with a brand identity will project the right image of the department, feels Mr. Sudhakar.