IRCTC biggest e-Commerce contributor – Over a 3rd of the total e-Commerce pie in India!


Did that come as a surprise? To me it didn’t. IRCTC is the first transaction I have done online in India. It is convenient and saves a lot of time. The charge they levy on the ticket booking is very minimal when compared to the waiting time or any charge the concierge or any such arrangement takes. IRCTC

IRCTC simply provides convenience with an easy to use interface. It charges extra for it which makes it sustainable. Instead of going for a populist or subsidized schemes notorious with our government, IRCTC has a sustainable business model. Or else it could not contribute 3400 crores to the total Indian e-Commerce pie of 9000 crores.

Till last year, the railways allowed bookings two months in advance, which meant trains running in April and May were filled by March. This year, it has allowed booking three months in advance, anticipating summer crowds, and has not been disappointed. Its earnings for Feb’09, three months before the peak summer month of May ‘09, stands at Rs.198.25 crore, compared to Rs.182.04 crore in March ’08, two months before March ‘08. (BusinessStandard)

In the first 2 months of 2009 IRCTC sold 38.7 million tickets which is 104% more than what it sold in the whole of 2008. Part of the reason is the coming summer holiday reason. IRCTC has opened up the bookings 3 months before. But, the increase is quite drastic and there has to be more reasons than the holiday season.

IRCT also stood in the way of India’s low-cost airline revolution (if you can call that). Air Deccan and others fought very hard to take passengers away from Indian Railways but the online bookings and other offers kept IRCTC and Indian Railways still the favorite.

This surge is happening in spite of companies like redbus and ticketvala offering tickets online for bus travel. Maybe the contribution of these sites have increased too. But the buses jack up their prices during holiday and festival season. Our humble IRCTC doesn’t resort to those gimmicks. has conducted a poll recently for the most trusted travel site and iXIGo came out to be the most trusted. Yatra, Cleartrip and 90di followed. Their poll only covered startup and non-PSU’s. If they have included IRCTC it would have come out trumps. IRCTC would also be the most profitable travel site.

  1. Anita says

    I was just wondering what your sources were for your data on the e-commerce market size in India as IAMAI estimates the total market size in 08 at 14,030 crores and 09 at 19,688 rather than the 9000 crores you quote?

  2. Sriram Vadlamani says

    @Manjunatha : Yes IRCTC has a monopoly which is actually coming from Indian Railways. Many aggregators have tie-ups with IRCTC but they don’t have any margins. IRCTC has the cheapest

    @Rizwan : I agree

    @Vijay : IRCTC is one big player which contributes to more than a 3rd of the total revenues. The rest of the space could be fragmented but there is no data to support that. If there is one big players we would have known that already.

    I also agree that the site is slow but there arent many alternatives. I would recommend booking from a mobile using ngpay. It is tied up with IRCTC. it A little painful in the begining but very useful.

    It has been my latest addictio along with Snaptu.

  3. Vijay says

    Another thing worth mentioning is..
    The IRCTC web site is not up to the mark., its very slow, many times not accessable etc., Still lot of ground to cover.

    But, the bottom line is that it is useful. I am not going to the Reservation counters anymore for ticket booking :-)

  4. Vijay says

    You mentioned IRCTC contributing to 3400 crores to the total Indian e-Commerce pie of 9000 crores… I was wondering which are the other two? Any insights on that?


  5. IRCTC, the biggest e-Commerce Contributor in India with over 1/3 rd share —

  6. Rizwan says

    The site is user friendly and provides basic necessities for users to book tickets online. This was a need not answered for quite some time…..looking at the number of people who travel by trains and the number who book ticekts online…..I would say that IRCTC has been solely responsible for getting a lot of people online :D

  7. Manjunatha KG says

    IRCTC will continue to grow as long as it provides the basic necessity of online booking for Trains. As it is a monopoly player in that area, no other player can enter its arena. Its business can’t be compared with other companies which are either local or segment players or aggregators. IRCTC is also limited to its monopolistic strength in train bookings and can’t effectively take its strength to other business, where it doesn’t have any monoploy.

  8. aristobhupal (aristobhupal) says

    IRCTC biggest Indian Ecom Contributor (3400/9000 crore) –

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