MILAN, Dec. 22 (Class Editori) – "Very soon we will open two big aggregators in China, two physical structures created in joint venture with logistics groups which collaborate with e-commerce giants such as Alibaba and JD, that will manage all the orders made by Italian customers in that country. It was not obvious to see Poste Italiane landing in China".
The CEO of Poste Italiane- Matteo Del Fante- has said this to Repubblica newspaper, by adding that in Italy, despite the crisis, "not only we have held on by ensuring continuity to our service, but we have also gone beyond ordinary services, unlike many other competitors abroad".
Truly, the attempt of Poste Italiane to enter the largest market of e-commerce worldwide dates back to July 2013, under the presidency of Massimo Sarmi, who had signed an agreement in Beijing with China Post, for the creation of a virtual "Made in Italy" pavilion on the online shopping platform, aiming at opening the doors of China to Italian companies.
The target was to mainly made the platform available to SMEs, without replacing the distributors, which had already been selected by the companies themselves, but working side by side with them. The promise was to offer a product with a "turnkey service" in China, because Poste Italiane would have been responsible for everything, also for the translation of the product description.
"In this way, Italian companies would have access-with the right key- to a market which is worth $265 billion and, in 2012, purchased Italian products for a value of €9 billion with a focus on leather products, clothing and jewellery and which marks an increase in Italian products' demand accounting for over 20% in the last two years", as Sarmi had explained in that moment.
"Poste Italiane will give its support to companies, acting as a bridge with the Chinese post operator", Sarmi had guaranteed. Poste Italiane and China Post had strengthened their relationships also in the insurance and logistics fields, with China Post Life Insurance, a company controlled by China Post, for the development of co-branding products and the revenue sharing.
Sarmi left Poste in mid-2014 and the project was then abandoned.
Poste is now growing in the logistics field and it seems that Del Fante is aiming at carrying out that initiative. It is more difficult with the pandemic, however "it is surely more needed: with the e-commerce boom in these days, we are delivering about a million and a half of parcels per day; a year ago, instead – we are talking about Black Friday 2019 – the threshold of a million parcels looked like a miracle to us. And we are also working for vaccines in logistics terms", as the CEO of Poste has added.
Apart from logistics, what kind of drivers does he look at in order to recover in 2021? "First of all, the financial activity. In the first semester of 2020 we have experienced an increase in net collection. Therefore, it has been a record year for post saving, while as for Life Insurance, a sector in which we are the leading issuers, we are gradually shifting toward a bit higher risk profiles, in order to grant yields which would be impossible with zero rates". Poste has also other plans in the insurance sector: "we aim at further boosting the life insurance offer: we are going well in the home insurance sector, we still have something to do in the non-life insurance one and, starting from January, we will be offering car insurance through Generali Ass and Unipol products, sold in our branches".
The digital payment boom can help: "our e-payment tools, included cards, are used by 29 million Italians. However, in order to make profits in this sector, the so-called 'acquiring' is crucial, namely offering e-payment services to retailers. We will do it increasingly more, also through the innovation we have just launched, which allows to pay by simply scanning a QR-code", he has concluded.
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