«Pochtovaya Troika» is a key forum of the postal industry in Russia and one of the significant events in the international postal life. Through its history, the forum has been transforming from an event during which the current activities of postal services were discussed and eventually turned into the event that today is the site to plan the development strategy of the world postal administrations. In 2013 we celebrate the 20th year of the first «Troika» and suggest you kindly get acquainted with the short history of the forum’s formation and development.
The initiators of «Pochtovaya Troika» were Boris Butenko, the First Deputy of the Federal Minister of Communications of the Russian Federation and Vladimir Uzilevskiy, General Director of the company «Center Technopost Ltd».
The first «Pochtovaya Troika» was held in 1993 as an event to unite and represent the interests of postal administrations, developers and manufacturers of modern technologies and equipment for postal industry. That was especially important for Russian postal service, which in 1990s, after telecommunications was separated as a subindustry, has disintegrated into multiple regional directorates of the federal postal service. The Russian postal administration needed a forum that would unite and represent its interests and would give an idea of international technologies and development experiences.
The relevancy of issues discussed then at «Pochtovaya Troika» was obvious and a decision was made to conduct it on a regular basis.
The event had a status of an international symposium and was entitled «Pochtovaya Troika-93: Postal Service – Infrastructure of Modern Society». From the very first symposium «Troika» was combined with a specialized exhibition of postal technologies and equipment, courier service and industry as a whole.
The Symposium of 1995 was meant to help postal administrations to organize and finance the postal service modernization projects in the countries of Eastern Europe and developing countries, involve telecommunications companies in the development of postal service, present prospective technologies and equipment. The event considered the issues of automation of postal services; the attendees exchanged experiences in the field of carriage and delivery of mail items. The financial and investment institutions were invited to attend the forum.
The «Troikas» of 1997 and 1999 have already discussed the introduction of information technologies into postal network, the new and modern services were considered. The postal facilities were getting ready to enter the 21st century with new methods of work and new offers for customers. The issues of integration of postal technologies and services were considered; for the first time the prospects of hybrid mail service were discussed. At the same time, the technical condition of the post remained one of the burning issues together with the issues of processing of mail items, postal logistics, and algorithms of selection of postal delivery routes.
At «Pochtovaya Troika» of 2001 for the first time the issues of postal reform were raised. The first outcomes of reform in Poste Italiane, Ukrposhta were presented, and also for the first time the elaboration of the restructuring concept of the postal communications in Russia was mentioned.
The issues of globalization and liberalization of economy, the rapid development of telecommunications, Internet and related exponential growth of electronic commerce were the subject of extensive discussions. In spite of reduction in volumes of traditional mail, a rapid development of direct marketing was noted since there was a growth in volumes of direct mail.
It is worth mentioning that the symposium and exhibition of «Troika» in 2001 were visited by a record number of people for such an event, about 700 participants. About 40 exhibits were presented to display modern technological equipment, information systems and systems of postal security as well as the prospective developing services.
Since 2003 «Pochtovaya Troika» has become more unique, the issues discussed were more of tactical nature. «Troika» eventually turned into a forum format.
The program of forum in 2003 covered the issues related to development of Post and its efficient functioning in the postal market, use of modern technologies in projects of upgrading of postal service, the postal reform, and peculiarities of development of postal communications throughout the world. For the first time, the forum raised the issue of vision of the future Universal Postal Union, objectives of development of the world post in the years to come. It was especially relevant for «Pochtovaya Troika» of 2003 that was conducted prior to the next 2004 Bucharest Congress of the Universal Postal Union where its new management bodies would have to be elected.
A special status of and atmosphere at the event was due to the fact that it was conducted in the year of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg; at the same time, the 300th anniversary of the first letter received in St.Petersburg, was celebrated.
In 2007 «Pochtovaya Troika» turned into a forum to discuss strategic issues topical on the threshold of the 24th UPU Congress. In particular, the problems related to the Strategic planning group, chairmanned at the time by Russia, were discussed, as well as the prime importance provisions of the future World Nairobi Postal Strategy. During «Pochtovaya Troika – 2007» the Memorandum of understanding was signed between PostEurope (Association of the European public postal operators) and RCC (RegionalCommonwealth in the field of Communications). This document has laid the ground for cooperation on the priority areas of postal development using the advanced information technologies both in Europe and in the CIS countries.
10th anniversary «Pochtovaya Troika» was held in Constantine Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors, in June 2011. The main topic of anniversary forum, “The epoch of three “e”s: e-Commerce, e-Government и e-Society, was connected with the recent shift in the structure of services, provided by designated postal operators worldwide. Top managers of the UPU, prominent economists and experts from different countries took part in the sessions of the Forum. Within the Forum a Memorandum of Understanding between Regional Commonwealth in the field of communications and PostEurop was signed, which determined the main directions of joint work of the named restricted unions for 2011 – 2016.
Taking into account the then upcoming XXV Universal Postal Congress, the candidates to the positions of the Director General and Deputy Director General of the UPU International Bureau presented their strategic programs and views regarding implementation of Doha Postal Strategy.
Within the recent years, «Pochtovaya Troika» has evolved into an event where the future of the postal sector is discussed, the strategic development prospects are considered, the further development of business with the account of the world trends is planned.
It may be said today that the participation of the Universal Postal Union management staff, heads of Restricted Postal Unions and world postal administrations, management staff of Ministries and Departments of the Russian Federation, and the representatives of the business community has become a heart-warming tradition.
One of the most beautiful cities of Russia, the cultural and business center of the country, St. Petersburg, is the traditional host of «Pochtovaya Troika». The city administration regularly supports the event, hosting its participants and offering sites for conducting the forum.