What is IRCTC?
- Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) is a public sector enterprise within the Ministry of Railways.
- IRCTC became an extended arm of the Indian Railways on 27 September 1999.
- It was aimed at upgrading, managing and catering and providing budget hotels and special tour packages.
- Over 8 billion trips are undertaken every year, the bulk of which are handled by this portal.
The new and improved booking system
- IRCTC was all set to revamp its online ticketing system with an investment of Rs 100 crore.
- This would imply a 275% jump from the present 2,000 tickets a minute to 7,500 tickets.
- This move would also raise its daily revenue from the current Rs 54 lakh to Rs 90 lakh, an increase of 67%.
IRCTC website goes for a facelift
- The IRCTC website unveiled in 2013 had a different connection with banks for payments; thereby making payment systems separate from the booking servers.
- It therefore had increased security, fraud detection mechanisms as well as the option to resume incomplete transactions lost due to connectivity issues.
- A train inquiry portal had also been created to work with the current website.
IRCTC listed on 'Fortune Next 500'
In 2015, amongst the companies that found a place in the 'Fortune Next 500' list were Indian companies - travel portals MakeMyTrip and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
What makes IRCTC the next big thing?
- IRCTC is a railway catering and e-ticketing giant, mainly because it is a monopoly in both these areas.
- Even in online ticketing, almost half the market is untapped. This means railway ticketing sales could potentially double. This will also grow with the growing railway network.
- Most importantly, IRCTC can diversify into countless arenas like movie ticketing or move into finance by payment banking.
Could IRCTC be worth more than Flipkart?
- Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation has been given a valuation of Rs 6,000 - Rs 14,000 crore.
- With the right investment in technology, it could be worth more than $10 billion worth, far more than Flipkart, Snapdeal or MakeMyTrip.
- With 3.1 crore customer data, IRCTC sits on a goldmine of information which can be used to sell other products and services.
IRCTC towers over Amazon sales
Amazon on a record-breaking day sold 13.5 million items, whereas Indian Railways sells more than 21 million tickets a day on an average.
IRCTC to provide 'finger licking' KFC food
- Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has entered into a partnership with KFC to start a delivery service for foodies on trains.
- This service is currently being provided to 12 trains passing via New Delhi railway station and will expand to Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Bengaluru stations in the coming 10 days.
- The service will currently be available only in pantry-less trains.
Press 139 to cancel railways tickets
- In order to provide assistance to passengers for cancellation of tickets, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched 2 new cancellation services.
- The passengers have to simply dial 139 from their mobiles to cancel their confirmed train tickets.
- Alternatively, passengers can cancel the tickets using the IRCTC website.
- The services were started as the passengers complained about the difficulty in reaching the cancellation counters in time.