Indian Railways API for Ticket Booking – Too strict for a startup?

A DMU Train

Indian Railways opened up it’s ticket booking APIs a few weeks back and here are some fine prints that you need to understand:

  • Must have minimum annual turnover (i.e. Gross transaction value) of Rs.5 crore in last financial year from Travel business.
  • The OTA will be required to submit a one time non refundable deposit of Rs. 20 lakh once the proposal is approved by IRCTC.


  • OTAs would not be allowed to advertise any Air/Land/ Hotel/Package/ tourism related
    product, other than IRCTC Tourism products on any of the Rail E-ticketing pages. This
    also applies on the e-ticket print out.
  • The partner OTAs would not be allowed to club rail tickets with any other products or
    services which pose direct or indirect competition to IRCTC’s tourism products,
    without permission of IRCTC.
  • OTA license is valid for only 1 year – and will be extended without any extra fee.

Package Resellers Commission

IRCTC in collaboration with OTA, would allow Reselling of some or all of its tourism

  • Rail tour Packages : OTA’s commission : 10% gross and 9.6% net commission
  • Holiday Packages: OTA’s commission : 10% gross and 9.6% net commission
  • Buddhist Train: OTA’s commission : 15% gross and 14.4% net.
  • Bharat Darshan: OTA’s commission : 5% Gross and 4.8% net.
  • Car Rental: No commission
  • Hotel Booking: To be launched

What’s your take on Indian Railways’ proposal? Is this startup friendly or will be limited to top few OTAs?
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Image via Wikipedia

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