Soon, you may be able to shop for more than just rail tickets @ IRCTC

By Manu Toms, Hindustan Times

The Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation  (IRCTC) is preparing a big-bang entry into the Indian e-commerce market in collaboration with a multinational or domestic e-tailer.

It is in the process of inviting bids from private e-commerce players to sell merchandise on its website in return for a 7-8% commission.

“Our goal is to invite the best players, including Flipkart and Amazon. The tender committee is considering the option of floating the tenders again as some difficulties have emerged with the original tender floated late last month,” a senior IRCTC source said.

“We are in talks with all the major e-commerce players, not just Flipkart and Amazon,” the IRCTC spokesperson told HT. “Some are interested. But things are at a very preliminary stage.”

IRCTC, which sells an average of 300,000 rail tickets every day, is India’s largest e-commerce portal and has a 20 million-plus user base. Its turnover of Rs. 15,410 crore in 2013-14 is 25% more than the combined turnover of about `12,400 crore posted by Flipkart and Amazon India, the country’s two largest private e-commerce companies, each of which recently clocked annual sales of $1 billion (Rs 6,200 crore). More info

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