Many of us have underrated and criticized IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) for various issues while booking tickets from their online portal. You might have received some funny memes and jokes about time-out sessions during online booking. But do you know that IRCTC is India’s biggest ecommerce player in terms of revenue?
Yes, you heard it right! In 2014-15, they earned a total amount of Rs. 20,620 crores from ticket fares which is even more than the total revenue filed by one of the topmost ecommerce players of India, Flipkart. Yes, Flipkart India has reported a revenue of Rs. 9,351.7 crores – not even half of IRCTC’s revenue!
In the year 2015, IRCTC saw many huge stats. In that year, they introduced a mobile application which currently witnesses about 2.5 lakh logins per day. And in the same year, more than 18.3 crore tickets were booked through their e-ticketing portal.
Moreover, the IRCTC website is currently available in Hindi and English only. But for the ease of users from different regions, it would be made available in other six regional languages – Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and Urdu by the end of this year. Last summer, the website added five more servers to the layer of its passenger reservation system. And now, the site can handle three lakh simultaneous user connections.
The team has also revamped their e-ticketing tech system and given it the name of ‘Next Generation e-Ticketing (NGeT) system’, responding to the widespread criticism of limited capacity and frenzied systems. Traffic handling is however still a problem, particularly during Tatkal (short notice) bookings because this session sees the heaviest demand which often strain the servers up to their limits. According to Sunil Kumar, the Group General Manager at IRCTC, Tatkal bookings have two hour long booking windows and first 10 minutes of each are the most hectic ones of the entire day for IRCTC’s staff. The organization has employed about hundred engineers for the system at Delhi to deal with traffic, downtimes, security and other such issues.
For preventing any misuse of the online booking facility, IRCTC has introduced a new ticket booking rule. According to it, only 6 e-tickets can be booked per user per month because it is felt that a genuine passenger doesn’t need to book for more than 6 times in a month.
IRCTC has been facing the brunt of customers’ anger due to its slow speed and other technical issues since years but with this NGet coming in to the rescue, it has truly enhanced the ticketing experience for the citizens of India and it will continue to do so effortlessly.