Not all is well between Indian Railways and IRCTC, one of the most successful ecommerce site in India [Read:  IRCTC- logoIRCTC Transactions : 52% Jump in 1 year, 23% Failure Rate]

Last week, Indian Railways decided to break ties with IRCTC for catering contract in Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi and all other mail and express trains.

The Catering Policy-2010 finalised by Railways have clearly spelt out that “Railways shall progressively take over management of all mobile catering services including base kitchens, pantry cars and all food stalls in railway premises”.[source]

And as per the latest report, Indian railways is now mulling to sell e-tickets directly from its own website, instead of using to sell the ticket.

“While the PSU made a business of approximately Rs 450 crore (Rs 4.5 billion) from catering during the last financial year, it earned Rs 122 crore (Rs 1.22 billion) from selling e-tickets. Currently, thirty per cent of all rail bookings are done through IRCTC website. CRIS, the IT arm of Railways, is understood to be already working on providing e-ticketing facility on Indian Railways website.”

The decision is primarily driven by IRCTC’s lack of support, infrastructure failure – which we have been covering regularly.

And this probably explains why IRCTC forayed into air travel booking – to spread the  risk of being turned obsolete.


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