Indian railways catering service IRCTC tie up with KFC coming after tie up with Domino’s poses a question. Is IRCTC on its way to make a better public image?
I remember a time when I had my worst dining experience at a Shatabdi train somewhere two years back. It was the time when IRCTC was criticized on a larger scale for serving unhygienic and rotten food in trains.
But my recent experience with IRCTC was pretty good. If not finger licking good, the food served to me in one of the trains last week was reasonably good. Yes, it was good. And now this news of IRCTC’s tie up with KFC.
If we keenly observe what IRCTC has been upto for last couple of years it would be worthwhile to notice that it is not just a catering service now. It is an online train booking service, catering service, hotel booking service, package booking service and even flight booking service. Off late IRCTC is doing business promotions, cab bookings, has a direct linking with Amazon and giving out prepaid cards. IRCTC has been evolving into a service much wider in span and width like Makemytrip or Cleartrip. Yet it is not in direct competition with any of them.
With more and more online food booking and delivery services coming up at a great pace , it seems IRCTC is also trying to grab a portion of the meat with these tie ups. IRCTC has a benefit of closed customer group it has within the train making them high prospect. Behavioral studies shows that a customer is more prone to purchasing under the circumstances of boredom. Similar situations arise when someone is in a train. While traveling long distance customers are bound to look out for options while are from a variant system than the system they are in, which in this situation is train. Whether it is food or it is books or anything else. Thus it seems like a good exercise to bring outside restaurant chains and their food to IRCTC’s menu.
Currently IRCTC’s major traffic comes up from train booking service and being a government enterprise any other service sold on this website gets a better credibility and a far better authority. This is the reason many businesses are choosing to advertise on IRCTC. Thus making it another big revenue channel for IRCTC. If more popular restaurants and services are added to IRCTC’s menu there is a better possibility of turning this service into a profit center.
However at the same time what’s required to be done by IRCTC is having on train menu placed at each seat and a quick ordering service. Currently the time required to place an order is minimum two hours which is too much. If I am hungry I would like to have something now rather than waiting for another two hours for the same. If this time is brought down to 30 minutes or 45 minutes and such service is expanded to all trains passing a designated station, much more customer traffic can be expected.