IRCTC on new tech track to ramp up revenues

By N V Vijayakumar

The trailblazing journey of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) — a subsidiary of the mammoth Indian Railways — which started operations in 1999, has attracted considerable attention, since it has emerged as an unconventional, yet major player in the ever-growing Indian eCommerce space.

In an interaction with N V Vijayakumar of Deccan Herald, IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director A K Manocha explains the new business model of the company, growing from the existing ticket-booking, catering and hospitality services.

The IRCTC has really set a new benchmark in the Indian eCommerce segment. How do you view the emergence of its platform?

We are fortunate to have 3.5 crore registered members, and they have really placed us in a unique position as a platform. Our net sales is two times more than that of the leading eCommerce company in India, and can handle more customers than any website in the country. For instance, during the peak tatkal booking session, we receive a record 80,000 transactions. We are happy to see that one-out-of-five online users in India visits our website, and we sell more than 2.1 crore tickets annually. We sold 13.45 lakh tickets on April 1, 2015. This was 2.5 times more than our peak sales of 5.5 lakh. The number is more than all the flight tickets sold by airlines globally.

Can you share details about IRCTC’s financial performance?

Backed by solid technology, IRCTC has emerged as the largest single destination in the country to book tickets for trains. This has helped the company generate total ticket sales/revenues worth Rs 20,620 crore, during FY2015, registering a growth of 34 per cent, compared with the same period of the last fiscal. We also registered a profit after tax value of Rs 130 crore, up from Rs 72 crore, in the same period of FY2014,  a growth of 80 per cent. Besides tickets, IRCTC succeeded in increasing its revenues via sales of Rail Neer, onboard catering services, and licence fees from outsourced catering vendors. More info

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