BY LEIAO GEREGA
Letter writing is a dying business due to technology.
But, Post PNG like every other postal administration around the world, has diversified its businesses and using creative ideas for postage stamps.
“So what we have done now is we have diversified because there is a decline in the industry, not in PNG, but it’s a global thing,”Post PNG chief executive officer Peter Tepure said.
“We still receive letters, because the old generation still like to post letters while young people like to use mobile phones. It’s quite a lot but the volume is dropping at 10 percent a year.”
Post PNG has since expanded into airline ticketing, partnering with other financial services such as Western Union. One of the more successful ways Post PNG has grown is through online selling and creative postages for collectors.
Philatelic manager Banian Masiboda, said the dwindling number of their stamp collectors from 26,000 down to only 2000 “was quite worrying” and that was the reason why they shifted focus to our online shop.
“So we tried to come up with some innovative ideas, and so we tried different shaped stamps, we tried pineapple scented stamps, just to be able to captivate the collectors.
“So instead of throwing in the towel, we decided to ride on the very wave that killed us and we came up with the online shop where we have our stamps so collectors around the world can access and buy.”
Most collectors are overseas-based, with only a handful of expatriate collectors in PNG, and only one Papua New Guinean collector from the Western Province who recently collected about 10,000 stamps.
Post PNG has 8 international agents in Australia, German, Russia and UK where all PNG stamps are issued for distribution globally. Mr Masiboda said Post PNG issued between 8-15 categories of stamps annually on different topics and interests in order to maintain collectors, as well as cut down costs.
The orchid topic, says Mr Masiboda, had generated a lot of interest and Post PNG has released it as often as they could over the years. “We try to balance this every year but we also take note on which topic generates more interest, and we make them our first choice.”
“In the long run we are putting ourselves in a better position to be chosen by collectors as the number one choice for collectors.”
Post PNG is creating a platform to accommodate suppliers from abroad by partnering with local companies from which customers can pick-up goods as well as partnering with international clients on their website.