How does IRCTC Work?
The IRCTC or Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited was founded as a public limited company on September 27 1999. The company is entirely owned by the Government of India and runs under the Ministry of Railways. The company is the only firm to be approved by the Indian railways to offer catering services to the Indian railways. IRCTC is the sole company which provides hospitality and catering services to different railway stations across India. The company is the solitary Indian company which is very popular and operates through its website. Apart from catering, the company has expanded itself into other segments like budget hotels and e-catering executive lounges.
The following list comprises IRCTC's segments, these components are what IRCTC is known for and this is how it engages primarily.
- Online Ticketing Platform: IRCTC is the sole company to be accredited to sell railway tickets through its website. The company is popular across the country for being the only company to sell online railway tickets as authorised by the Government,
- Food Catering Services: IRCTC is also known for offering food catering services to railway passengers. The company approximately provides catering for a majority of Indian trains and static units. With the advent of technology, the company also offers catering to passengers through its mobile app.
- Budget Hotels and Lounges: IRCTC also provides low budget hotels and retiring rooms for the ease and convenience of travelling passengers.
- Packaged Drinking water: IRCTC is the only authorised company to produce and distribute packaged drinking water across all railway stations and to all the travelling passengers. The company produces packaged drinking water under the brand name Rail Neer.
- Travel and Tourism: The company is also known to provide travel and tourism services to passengers. It is associated with hotel bookings and air ticket bookings.
Over the years, IRCTC has been doing well in all its segments. The company has also won several awards and accolades for its triumphant performance. The company is also lauded for being the most trusted brand in railway services. The company has also featured in the Fortune India Next 500 list in the past couple of years. Many eminent market experts believe that the business model of IRCTC is very strong, which is why the company is profitable and is a top-notch railway service provider in India.
There are certain parameters which make IRCTC an iconic brand in itself. Some of the factors that have contributed to building and sustaining the company are as follows:
- Strong Earnings and Growth: Since its inception, the company enjoys profits and strong earnings. The company witnessed a profit of 79% as reported by its sources in July 2020. The company also saw an all-round performance across all its segments, including bottled water and catering services.
- Diversified Business Segments: IRCTC is known for being successful across all its diversified business segments like catering services, internet ticketing services, packaged drinking water and budgeted hotels. Experts agree that very few organisations can register success in all its chosen diversification. Still, IRCTC is one such brand that has always performed up to the mark in all its diversified sectors.
- Debt Free Status: IRCTC is known to be debt-free despite its expansion across various domains. The company manages to enjoy a debt-free status.
- Solo Company in Railway Services: IRCTC is the only company in railway services that supports the Government of India. The company is the sole organisation to be authorised by the Government of India to offer online tickets, sell drinking water and catering services.IRCTC is also known for having a monopoly in its sector as there is no other company that provides railway services other than IRCTC. This is the reason why the company is enjoying profit margins year after year. Not only that, The company had its IPO or Initial Public Offering in 2019. As per sources close to the company, the company witnessed humongous profit in its stock right from the opening day.
Performance of IRCTC in Various Sectors
IRCTC has performed exceptionally well in many sectors, the sectors are mentioned below.
- Finance: industry experts hail IRCTC to be a very profitable company. The company generates a huge and consistent revenue across its four segments; ticketing, catering, drinking water and budget hotels.
- Business Strategy: The company enjoys a monopoly in the railways. It is the sole railway service provider on behalf of the Government of India. As a result, the company operates without any rivals and is very successful in this industry.
- Marketing: Being the sole company in the Indian railway service sector, the company does not require any additional PR or advertising for its promotion.The company is doing well in the railway service sector, hence a word of mouth and customer loyalty are important facets that help in the popularity of the company.
- Generic: IRCTC is known to be a stalwart in the Indian railway service sector. The company which is mainly known for its ticketing business has gained popularity over the years for its other segments like catering services, tourism and packaged drinking water.
COVID-19 and Impact on IRCTC
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a drip in the travel and tourism industry across the country. As a result of the pandemic and lockdown, many trains are temporarily suspended, which has affected the IRCTC majorly. The current pandemic also created a wave of apprehension and fear amidst people due to which people were wary of travelling from one place to another. Although some trains are now operational, the number of passengers is less in number which has also affected the internet ticketing system vastly. But the Railway officials are optimistic that railways will also witness a surge in its passengers when things turn to normalcy.
Future Prospects of IRCTC
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is a successful company operating in the railway services segment under the Indian Government. The company has been handling various diverse components like catering, ticketing, tourism and budget hotels. IRCTC has been known since its inception to contribute highly to the Indian economy and GDP. Besides, the company’s IPO was also successful. But in the past few months, the company had been registering losses due to a nationwide ban on travel and tourism due to the current coronavirus pandemic induced lockdown and travel ban. However, the team, sources and the government are hopeful that the company will be back to business when the conditions are better.
We hope this article helps you understand how IRCTC works and what are its functions, commitments and structure. For more information on interesting topics, visit our blogs.
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Q. Is IRCTC a private organisation?
Ans: IRCTC is not a private sector but a public sector organisation that is authorised by the Government of India.
Q. Does IRCTC also provide Travel and Tourism Packages?
Ans: Yes, IRCTC also offers certain travel and tourism packages for its passengers across India.
Q. Is Rail Neer a branch of IRCTC?
Ans: Yes, Rail Neer is a part of IRCTC.