IRCTC Explores Collaboration with ONDC for Enhanced Ticket Booking Services

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation seeks to leverage Open Network for Digital Commerce for improved customer experience

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is engaged in discussions with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to potentially expand its ticket booking services, aiming to enhance customer satisfaction and convenience.

According to a senior railway official, IRCTC is contemplating the inclusion of ONDC to facilitate ticket bookings, with an initial focus on bus reservations. While specifics of the collaboration are still being finalized, the move is anticipated to streamline booking processes and provide users with a wider array of options.

The proposal for collaboration with ONDC was underscored during the Q3FY24 investor call by IRCTC CMD S.K. Jain. Although no definitive timeline was provided for the formal announcement, discussions are reportedly progressing positively.

IRCTC, a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Railways, boasts the IRCTC Rail Connect app, which has garnered over 100 million downloads. The app currently facilitates bookings for trains, flights, buses, and hotels. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, IRCTC’s internet ticketing segment has exhibited resilience, processing approximately 460 million tickets online annually.

In Q3FY24, the platform witnessed robust ticket bookings, with 55 million AC class tickets, 45 million non-AC class tickets, and 14 million second sitting tickets recorded.

The potential collaboration with ONDC aligns with IRCTC’s commitment to leveraging digital platforms for service expansion and innovation. ONDC, a government-backed initiative, aims to foster a robust digital commerce ecosystem by facilitating seamless integration among various service providers.

Notably, ONDC has been actively collaborating with mobility players to enhance transportation services. Recently, cab-hailing aggregator Uber signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ONDC to explore integration opportunities in the mobility sector. T Koshy, MD and CEO of ONDC, emphasized the significance of the mobility sector and reiterated ONDC’s commitment to continuous evolution and innovation.

Several key players in the mobility sector, including Kochi Metro, Chennai Metro, and RedBus, have already integrated with ONDC, offering commuters seamless access to transportation services.

As IRCTC progresses in its discussions with ONDC, the collaboration holds the potential to revolutionize ticket booking experiences for millions of passengers, marking a significant stride towards digital transformation in the travel and tourism sector.

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