What makes IRCTC India’s biggest e-commerce player

By Kim Arora, TNN

Tucked away at one end of a road in central Delhi, you are likely to miss the innocuous building that houses Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) that runs the overloaded online railway reservation system.

It is frequently the butt of many jokes and viral memes about those heart-breaking session time outs during booking and exasperatingly slow speeds.

Inside the quiet office, techies are silently tapping away at keyboards but the placid surface hides some remarkably frenzied activity. These men and women keep afloat a system that has about 21 lakh daily hits and 3,000 enquiries a second at peak hours.In 2014-15, the IRCTC website saw over 18.3 crore tickets being booked from its e-ticketing portal. Starting mid-Feb, they will limit bookings to six per month per user account.

Today, it is India’s largest e-commerce players by revenue as filed with the Registrar of Companies. E-ticketing constitutes 55% of total reserved tickets on Indian Railways. IRCTC’s total income for the financial year 2014-15 stood at Rs. 1,141 crore. This is inclusive of service charge for online ticket booking, sales of packaged water, Rail Neer, and license fees from catering vendors. In the same fiscal,the total amount earned from users in ticket fares stood at Rs 20,620 crore.

Flipkart India, meanwhile filed a revenue of Rs 9,351.7 crore in March 2015 with the Registrar of Companies — less than half of IRCTC in that period. More info

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