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Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is a subsidiary of the Indian
Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the
Tourism industry in India is on a great boom at the moment. India has tremendous
potential to become a major global tourist destination and Indian tourism industry is
exploiting this potential to the hilt. Travel and tourism industry is the second highest
foreign exchange earner for India, and the government has given travel & tourism
organizations export house status.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. has been set up by the Ministry of
Railways with the basic purpose of hiving off entire catering and tourism activity of the
railways to the new Corporation so as to professionalize and upgrade these services with
public-private participation. Rail based Tourism in India will be the specific vehicle for
achieving high growth in coordination with state agencies, tour operators, travel agents
and the hospitality industry. A dynamic marketing strategy in association with public and
private agencies, tour operators, transporters, hoteliers and local tour promoters is on the
anvil. Indian Railways span global volumes in hospitality and catering sectors with
services provided to 13 million passengers everyday.
In this project we tried to identify the service delivery mechanisms adopted by the
IRCTC. As it is the only player in the online railway ticket reservation, we have done an
intensive research in the areas of technology, demand supply, customer satisfaction and
their involvement in making the Government subsidiary a leading player in the tourism
and online ticketing.


The study covers the various aspects of strategies which help in determining the Service
offerings and analysis of this industry.
The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Services Marketing
at IRCTC. In the light of this primary objective, the following sub-objectives are set.

To review the historical aspects of IRCTC and its growth.

To know the position of the E-Commerce industry as a whole in the world as well as in INDIA.
To identify the service and technology needed in IRCTC.
To assess the purpose and uses of effective service and technology.
To study and analyze the further steps to be taken after doing the necessary analysis of IRCTC.
To evaluate various techniques or operations followed in this regard.
To know how mutuality it will increase and strengthen the relationship between each employee
and customers.
To know the commitment of the employees towards the organization with the Companys

Research is an art of scientific investigation. Research comprises defining and redefining
problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions, collecting, organizing and
evaluating data, making deduction and reaching conclusions and at last carefully testing
the conclusion to determine whether they formulating hypothesis.
Methodology: The Study is about the Services Marketing Strategies in an Organization. It
deals with the title of the study, need of the study, objectives & Scope of study.
Title of the Study: The study is titled as Report on Services Marketing at IRCTC,
Data is collected from primary and secondary sources.
Collection of the data is of primary importance in the research process. Data which is
collected for the purpose of research helps in proper analysis which is helpful to conduct
research effectively. The data source, which is very important in the collection of data, is
primary data and secondary data.
Both primary and secondary data are taken into consideration for the study by the
strategies followed by IRCTC.
Primary Data: This consists of original information gathered for specific purpose. The
normal procedure is by interacting with the people individually and/ or in a group, to get
the required data.
Secondary Data: This consists of the information that already exists somewhere, either in
some Annual Records or Magazines etc, having been collected for other purpose. Here
the researcher has both primary as well as secondary data.
Survey Approach:
The questionnaire was administered through direct contact with respondents.
1. Sampling Technique:
The study covers a sample of employees of IRCTC Ltd. The Respondents were selected
on a Sample Random basis from the following categories of the employees,
a) Senior managers
b) Deputy Managers
c) Junior Officers
d) Assistants

Sampling Procedure: The sampling method used is Random Sampling. This sampling
Method is used because the respondents were selected randomly. The sampling unit
selected mostly from Executives and non executives.

The cutting edge for business today is e-commerce. Most people think e-commerce means online
shopping. But web shopping is only a small part of the picture. The term also refers to online
stock, bond transactions, buying and downloading software without ever going to a store. In
addition, e-commerce includes business to business connections that make purchasing easier for
big corporations.
E-commerce is generally described as a method of buying and selling products and services
electronically. The main vehicle of e-commerce remains the Internet and the World Wide Web,
but use of e-mail, fax and telephone orders is also prevalent. Electronic commerce is the
application communication and information sharing technology among trading partners to the
pursuit of business objectives. E-commerce can be defined as modern business methodology that
addresses the needs of the organization, merchants and consumers to cut costs while improving
the quality of goods and services and speed of service delivery. E-commerce is associated with
the buying and selling of information, products, and services via computer networks. A key
element of e-commerce is information processing.

The effects of e-commerce are already appearing in all areas of business, from customer service
to new product design. It facilitates new types of information based business processes for
reaching and interacting with customers-online advertising and marketing, online, order taking
and online customer service etc. It can also reduce costs in managing orders and interacting with
a wide range of suppliers and trading and trading partners, areas that typically add significant
overheads to the cost of products and services.
E-commerce industry has touched 9210 crore, online classifieds: 820 crores, online travel: 7000
crores (30% jump from Rs 7,080 crore in 07) as per the survey conducted by the IAMAI and
Online Travel Industry: growth rate of 30% to Rs 7,000 crore by end FY09 (from 5500 crores in
Online Classifieds: reached Rs 820 crore by end FY08
Online retailing/auction (eTailing): Rs 1,105 crore industries by end FY09 (from Rs 850 crore in
Digital downloads (i.e. downloading from Internet to mobiles using wap phones or web) and
paid content (research/exclusive videos/articles etc) for the rest of 285 crores.
The major triggers of e-commerce in India were:
Saves time and efforts
Convenience of shopping at home
Wide variety / range of products are available
Good discounts / lower prices
Get detailed information of the product
You can compare various models / brands
Some of the major barriers at present were:
Not sure of product quality
Cannot bargain/Negotiate
Not sure of security of transactions / Credit card misuse
Need to touch and feel the product
Significant discounts are not there
Have to wait for delivery

During the year 2008-2009, two major Industry Associations produced separate reports on e-
commerce in India. Both the reports came out around the same time, namely June-July 2009.
One was prepared by the National Committee on E-Commerce set up the Confederation of
Indian Industry (CII), while the other was commissioned by the NASSCOM and prepared by the
Boston Consulting Group. Both the reports are optimistic about the growth of e-commerce in
India. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report estimates the volume of e-commerce to
grow to Rs 1500 billion (US$ 10.6 billion) in the year 2009, out of which B2B will be Rs 820
billion (US$ 18 billion) and B2C will be Rs 680 billion. The NASSCOM-BCG Report, on the
other hand, estimates for the same year that the total volume of e-commerce will be Rs 1,950
billion, out of which Rs 1,920 billion (US$ 41 billion) will be on account of B2B and Rs 30
billion (US$ 64 million) will be on account of B2C (NASSCON and BCG, 2009).

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is a subsidiary of the Indian
Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the railways.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. has been set up by the Ministry of
Railways with the basic purpose of hiving off entire catering and tourism activity of the railways
to the new Corporation so as to professionalize and upgrade these services with public-private
participation. Rail based Tourism in India will be the specific vehicle for achieving high growth
in coordination with state agencies, tour operators, travel agents and the hospitality industry. A
dynamic marketing strategy in association with public and private agencies, tour operators,
transporters, hoteliers and local tour promoters is on the anvil. Indian Railways span global
volumes in hospitality and catering sectors with services provided to 13 million passengers
Mission "Enhance customer services and facilitation in railway catering, hospitality,
travel and tourism with best industry practices".
(1) To be a customer friendly company through constant innovation, technology driven and
human resource development.
(2) Optimize resources, increase manpower productivity through quality product vending and
innovative marketing strategies.
(3) Upgrade and consolidate catering services in the organized sector.
(4) Expand areas of core competencies; enhance business opportunities through efficient public -
private partnerships to maximize generation of resources.
(5) Imbibe strong and ethical work culture through teamwork, build and reposition Indian
Railways in the emerging services sector.
(6) Evolve high standards of business ethics, quality management and effective cost control
(7) Concern for the environment and heritage
Tourism Railway Tourism has seen excellent growth in India. Right from IRCTC's inception ,
we have undertaken dynamic marketing strategy with major tour operators and State Tourism as
our partners for providing exclusive tour packages across the country. IRCTC arranges for full
train charters, coaches as well as reserved berth programmes through regular trains for tourism
purposes. During this short period we have been able to provide such facilities to over 50,000
persons. Internet Rail Reservation There has been a latent demand in the country for ticket
availability at the door-step. IRCTC has already developed this facility at Delhi, Chennai,
Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai. Very soon the facility will spread to Hyderabad, Pune and
Ahmadabad. After consolidation at these centers, further development in the major towns will
take place. IRCTC web enabled reservation site is IRCTC Online Passenger Reservation System
Food Plazas IRCTC has firmed up plans to set up over 50 multi-cuisine food plazas at major
railway stations throughout the country during the current year. The Food plazas will have
contemporary decor, air conditioned ambience and round the clock operation to suit passenger
convenience with market driven competitive pricing.
Call Center IRCTC has recently inaugurated a Call Center. A customer can dial 139 from
anywhere in the country and get all information from Indian Railways.
Services provided by them are:
Catering / Hospitality
Online Ticketing
IRCTC Online Passenger Reservation System ( is the most successful e-
commerce website in India. More than 7050 reservations everyday, and about 8500 trains
included in the booking process.
IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd., set by the Ministry of
Railways in 1999) has played a huge role in transforming customer experience for buying a
railway ticket. The lengthy queues for booking tickets or black marketing of tickets is no more
the default way of buying tickets.
IRCTC has also introduced many innovations including e-ticket and mobile booking.
The website is a bad experience for the user. Many operations are slow, error prone and
difficult to understand. If one step goes wrong, you have to do the whole process again.
It has taken us any time between 15 minutes to 6 hours to book a ticket successfully. Many
others share similar experience.
The new Quick Book feature addresses many of the concerns.
Yet, the process can be significantly improved resulting not only in much higher customer
satisfaction, but also much lower transaction times, and consequently, less load and bandwidth
consumption for the server.

1. Booking of I-tickets, e-tickets and tatkal tickets.
I-ticket - refers to a Railway reservation booked on this website for the consummation of which a
printed Railway ticket on standard Stationery is dispatched by IRCTC to the Customer through
the courier, which constitute the authority to travel on trains.
E-ticket - E-ticket - refers to a Railway reservation booked on this website, for the consummation
of which the customer prints out an Electronic Reservation Slip which, along with one of the
authorized personal identification, constitutes the authority to travel, in lieu of the regular ticket
on standard Stationery.
Tatkal Ticket-A ticket booked against Tatkal Quota against extra payment of premium charges
as per extant Railway rules.
2. A maximum of six berths/seats can be booked at a time for a specified journey between any
two stations served by the train subject to distance restrictions in force.
3. An individual user can book a maximum of ten tickets in a calendar month.
4. Booking can be done against general (GN), SS (senior citizen), ladies (LD) and tatkal (CK)
quota berths/seats only.
5. Tatkal Quota (CK) berths/seats are earmarked in all-important trains in different classes except
First Class Air-conditioned (1A) class. Ladies quota (LD) is generally earmarked in Sleeper class
(SL) and second sitting (2S).
6. In case of tickets booked through internet no concession is permitted except senior citizen.
7. General enquiries available:
a. Accommodation available for a train/date combination
b. Current Status of reserved tickets.
c. Time table
d. Train fare
e. Trains available between a given pair of stations

8. Courier delivery of tickets (I-tickets) limited to postal addresses covered by the pin codes
listed under the link "Places of Delivery ". For details of areas where courier delivery is provided
at present, categorized by PINCODE
9. E-Booking or E-reservation facility available for all trains.
10. On line cancellation facility for E-tickets alone, up to the charting time for that train. (E-
tickets cannot be cancelled at counters)
11. Mobile booking of I-Tickets and E-tickets through NGPAY Mobile application, booking of
I-Tickets and E-tickets through CSAM- IRCTC Mobile Application, I tickets on airtel live, via
IRCTC's WAP enabled site.
12. Auto-Up gradation is available to the next higher class on optional basis. (As per railway


IRCTC agrees to provide online ticket booking facilities to registered users who agree to the
terms and conditions
Standard of Service: IRCTC will supply the service to you with reasonable care and skill.
Service Hours: Booking through Internet is allowed from 5 AM to 11.30 PM (Indian Standard
Time) on all days including Sundays. Service hours are liable to be changed without prior notice.
If you try booking before 8 AM, for opening day's tickets, the reservation will fail, with your
account getting debited; IRCTC will refund the entire fare and IRCTC's service charges, but the
bank/card transaction charges are likely to be forfeited
Issue of Tickets User Registration: Must be a registered user to use IRCTC site to book tickets
and for any type of enquiries. No user can register more than once on the site. All payments
towards the cost of the tickets issued will be through one of the payment mode provided on the
payment page. The site is VeriSign secured and credit card details will travel on the Internet in a
fully encrypted (128 bit, browser independent encryption) form. To ensure security, card details
are NOT stored in Website.

Scope of Service: IRCTC makes no guarantee that any service will be uninterrupted, timely,
secure or error-free.


Catering is an efficient method of providing food for large parties. IRCTC concentrates equally
on catering services. It believes in Rail catering Multi Dimensions. It includes Food Plaza, On-
Board Catering, Catering Stalls, Automatic Vending Machines, and Rail Neer Packaged
drinking water.
Food Plaza: Food plazas are set up at major / important railway stations with multi-cuisine
outlets dishing out vegetarian, non-vegetarian, sweet meat, pastry shop, juice shop, ice cream
corner among various other food and beverages all under one roof in the huff and puff of the rail
On-Board Catering: Food and beverages are served on Board the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and other
mail/express trains from the pantry car and also picked up from the well equipped based kitchens
Catering Stalls: Catering stalls are aesthetically designed on a modular stall specification with all
in built requirements to serve the quality food and beverages on time as per the needs of the
Automatic Vending Machines: Serving hot and cold beverages and a variety of per-packed
snacks are being dispensed. The product dispensed is standardized in terms of quality and
Rail Neer Packaged Drinking Water: The bottled water brand of IRCTC has set new bench mark
for the packaged drinking water in terms of quality, visibility and taste.
Current Trends in Industry:
I. Trend1: Money Spent at Foodservice Establishments Continues to Grow
During the last 10 years there have been noticeable changes in the eating habits of Indians. These
changes have been reflected in increases of money spent at foodservice establishments compared
with money spent on in-home meals. However, this does not mean that fewer meals are eaten at
home. On the contrary, the number of meals has not changed just the origin or substance of those
meals. The growing availability of take-out meals from restaurants well illustrates this trend.
This not only allows the customer to eat at home, but satisfies another of the recent trends in
eating: people craving high quality meals with short to no preparation time.
II. Trend 2: Convenience Is King
The rise in convenience foods over the last 10 years has been illustrated in the steady growth of
fast-food chains in the India. The broad success of the cell phone is symbolic of Indians greater
mobility. This on-the-run mentality has created the need for quick, easy-to-prepare foods. The
increase in single parent households, women in the workplace and the amount of disposable
income of teenagers have added to the need for ready-to-eat meals. Convenience foods need to
be easy to make for any age group, with easy cleanup and little or no waste. Most meals are
eaten on-the-go, so the ability to hold the food item with one hand and the freedom to eat without
utensils are important.
III. Trend 3: Healthy Is "In
Another trend in Indian eating habits is the desire for healthy meals. Whether eating at home or
out, consumers are starting to demand healthy alternatives to the usual menu fair. This change
has been spawned by increased public awareness of heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.
Along with disease awareness has come public education on disease prevention--most of all, by
modification of the diet. People now take into account more than ever the amount of calories, fat,
and sodium consumed. Other popular concerns include all natural ingredients and use of organic
IV. Trend 4: More Than Just Dal, Rice and Roti
In addition to healthy foods, consumers are requesting more multicultural meals. With minority
populations growing at increasing rates, the mobility of consumers, and the globalization of the
marketplace, consumer tastes are broadening to include many different cultures. For example, a
decade ago Mexican restaurants were few and far-between but have now joined Italian and
Chinese restaurants in the mainstream market (Mills, 2000).

V. Trend 5: Is Our Food Safe?

Lastly, there has been increased public concern about food safety. Consumers are looking for
assurances that their food is safe and that its safety is maintained throughout the cooking process.
Based on the current trends, IRCTC is eyeing the potential customers by customizing the
services according to the customers on / off board.
Role of Technology:
State of art technology which provides latest designs and kitchen equipments. Telephone /
Mobile technology plays a vital role in the catering services. A passenger can place an order to
IRCTC Food plazas available at major railway stations by giving his/her details like Train No.,
Coach No., Name, Berth Number, Date and Time of Journey. Passenger can choose from a wide
range of varieties available at IRCTC Standard Menu. In case of Rajdhani and Shatabdi, a
passenger can place an order through online while booking his/her ticket.
Major players in the industry:
As IRCTC is a whole and sole subsidiary of Indian Railways, it is a monopoly in the catering
services offered by it. But still IRCTC welcomes Food and Beverages companies, Fast Food
Majors, Hoteliers and other caterers to associate with the IRCTC to become strategic partner for
Facilitating quality food and beverages services to Rail passengers.
IRCTC has no competitors as mentioned earlier. But thinking broadly competitors for IRCTC
exists from Housewifes and local food sellers at the railway platforms. As per the Indian
passengers tendency, most of the passengers prefer home food because of their convenience,
quality, tastes, hygiene, cost and quantity. Hence IRCTC is putting its best efforts to provide all
the needs of the passengers to serve quality food at cost effective prices.

Tangibility Spectrum:


The service is people processing: They would know the product quality in terms of taste. So taste
is the tangibility factor.
Package quality, service provider dress code, purity of water, packaging of water.
All these factors enhance the tangibility factors of pantry car services.
Customer Expectations of service:
Customer expectations are beliefs about service delivery that serves as standards or reference
points against which performance is judged. Because customers compare their perceptions of
performance with these reference points when evaluating service quality, thorough knowledge
about customer expectations is critical to service marketers. Knowing what the customer expects
is the first and possibly most critical step in delivering quality service.
Customer expectations in train vary from region to region. As India is diversified country IRCTC
is trying hard to make common menu and also Al-Carte menu which satisfies the regional tastes
and preferences.
Customer want services like Food Served hot, with premium quality at affordable prices. As
every customer has zone of tolerance if the service drops below adequate service customer feels
frustrated and their satisfaction with the provider will be undermined.
Bundle of benefits typically received by customers:
In Rajdhani and shatabdi trains different menus are available for passengers to make most of it.
Food price i.e., package of bed tea to dinner are included in the Ticket fare for the passengers.
For the other superfast and express trains standard menu is to be utilized by the customers where
the catering cost is not involved in passenger tariff. For this reason the cost of each item is
clearly defined so that the customers feels satisfied and value for product. Service is fast for the
customers. Based on the packages different items are served in a combo style which is
beneficiary for the passengers.
Service Quality Dimensions:
There are five service quality dimensions. They are Tangibles, Reliability, Responsiveness,
Assurance and Empathy.
Appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials.
Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.
Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service
Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence
Caring, individualized attention the firm provides its customers
Yes all the dimensions are applicable to this industry, Especially Responsiveness and Reliability
is most important when compared to others. Because prompt service and delivery drags
customers attention and wins confidence.
Customers involvement in the service delivery:
The importance of customers in successful service delivery is obvious if service performances
are looked at as a form of drama .Customer participation at some level is inevitable in service
delivery. Services are actions or performances, typically produced and consumed
Customers involvement in IRCTC catering services is done by continuous feedback right from
the quality :effective or ineffective ,product appropriate or inappropriate and services productive
or unproductive based on valuable suggestions given by customers IRCTC makes necessary
changes in their service delivery mechanism.
The level of customer participation can be low, medium and high based on services .In this case
customer participation is medium.

what is the value of blueprinting a service?
Managing service quality has always been a target for most hospitality organizations in that it
will result in customer satisfaction that very organization intends to accomplish. The more
influence an organization has over its service quality, the better it will have control over its
customer satisfaction. Service encounter or the moment of truth is one of the predictors of
service quality. It is a point in service delivery where there is an interaction between the service
employee and the customer. Therefore, accomplishing a positive service encounter is very
important. When the service provider is able to understand and meet customers expectation,
positive service encounter will be attained. After analyzing the problems and challenges in
managing service encounters, several points can be drawn in attaining positive service
1. Customers generally consider the way how the service employee or service provider performs
recovery efforts, how adaptable the service employee or service provider is, how good is the
spontaneity and how good the service employee or service provider is in coping customers
2. Adding more tangibility in the service encounter will minimize the risk of having a big gap
between customer expectation and perception;
3. Non-verbal communication should be considered as 93% of the impression formed in the
customers mind is determined by non-verbal cues;
5. Purchase motivation is also another point to consider when attempting managing service
encounter as it contends with customers expectation;
6. Last but not least, the effective use of service blueprint in managing the moment of truth will
help service provider trace some critical points in the moment of truth when special attention is
necessary so that the service provider will have more control over the service encounters. Even
for more complicated hospitality organizations like hotels, for example, having detailed service
blueprint for every service operation will help them have more control over service encounters
and ensure service excellence.

What can a services marketer in this industry learn form this exercise?
There are several recommendations to propose:
1. It is essentially important for the hospitality organizations to equip the service employees with
the skill to manage service encounters, such as:
a. Help them be familiar with the general service behaviors, the dos and the donts
b. Help them be able to produce the right nonverbal cues
c. Help them realize the cultural aspects influencing service encounters
2. Several kinds of trainings are necessary such as: multicultural training programs, language
training programs and so on.
3. Developing the service blueprint is useful in anticipating the potential points of service
failures and emphasizing on opportunities to enhance customers perceptions of the service and
create a more positive service encounter.
4. Further empirical research should be done on the multicultural service behaviors and its
effects on service encounters.

What is servicecape?
The environment in which service is delivered and in which the firm and customers interact,
and any tangible commodities that facilitate performance or communication of the service.



Roles of Services cape:-

A services cape is not a passive setting it plays an important role in service transactions.
An evaluation of the roles they have in service encounters will reveal how important it is
to design an appropriate services cape .A services cape plays four important roles.

Servicescapes package the service offer and communicate an image to the customers of
what they are going to get. It is the corporeal manifestation of the service idea for interest
groups to form a shared appreciation-ma perceptible metaphor for an intangible service.
They are predetermined to render an intended image to the service concept and evoke a
particular sensory and emotional reaction that sets the stage for a germane experience that
augments the efficacy of the offer. Appropriate servicescaping is a sure shot way to
create an image that the service provider is seeking to put up. It also helps moderate
customer expectation and reinforces his experience and reminiscences. Servicescape is an
outward appearance of organization and thus can be critical in forming initial impressions
or setting up customer expectation.
Another important job of services cape is to act as a facilitator in assisting both the
customers and service employees to make most of the opportunity it should make the
service consumption comfortable convenient for the customer. For employees it should
be pleasant to conduct activities. This setting is designed can enhanced or inhibits the
efficient flow of activities in the service setting making it easier or harder for customer
and employee to accomplish their goals.
Clearly the design of the services cape differentiates one provider from its competitors,
and hints at eth segment the services are targeted at. Companies adapt services cape to
reposition the services or identify new customer segments.
Home Magazines
Eticket advertising
Stickers inside the train compartment
IRCTC website
Segmented price for higher class
Market oriented price for food plazas
Prices of refreshment rooms, pantry cars are controlled by IRCTC
Demand is always unpredictable in railways, so they supply according to the number of
tickets booked for a train. Based on this information estimation is done to serve the
maximum number of customers.
700 pantry cars all over India
150 food plazas
7000catering stalls
Only player for catering in Railways
Assured business
Transport catering business can satisfy only 80% of customers
Slow implementation
Huge market
Competition free environment for entrants of new players in association with IRCTC
Abundant competition
Assured business
Big area for advertising their own products
Huge profit

Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure for business purposes. IRCTC through tourism
promotes all famous destinations in India.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), is a public
sector enterprise under the Government of India - Ministry of Railways and is the single
window interface for providing complete travel & tourism solutions for the various
customer segments and is also taking over catering on trains and at stations over the
Indian Railway network.
IRCTCs vision for the tourism business is To be the leading provider of a complete
spectrum of consistently high quality tourism products.


Luxury Tourist Trains
Exclusive Steam & Hill Charters
Chartering of special trains & coaches over the IR network
Tour Packages
Bharat Darshan Special tourist trains for the budget travel segment
Budget Hotels near important railway stations all over India
Car rentals
E-ticketing for travel over Indian Railways
Call Centers for rail & tourism related information
On-board catering on trains all over the IR network
Multi-cuisine food plazas at important railway stations
Rail Neer packaged drinking water

Availability of this wide range of services under its own umbrella puts IRCTC in the
unique position of being able to offer readymade as well as customized packages to meet
the requirements of all segments of the travel & tourism industry.

Current Trends:
Tourism industry trends can be ascertained with regard to the following parameters.
Market analysts researching in tourism industry trends predict or provide a general layout
of the trends with respect to outcomes of tourism which is inbound, e-business in the
tourism industry, development and promoting tourism in tribal areas, trends in tourism
farming, tourism requirements, development of strategies in the context of tourism,
tourism markets worldwide, selling or promoting tourist destination.
IRCTC has introduced for booking packages keeping in mind the
different societies. It has associated with top and best hotels wherever the tourism is
encouraged. Incredible India, an initiative by Govt. of India is well supported by IRCTC.
Role of Technology:
Internet plays an important role in IRCTC tourism sector. Customers are provided with
immense information about the packages that are available. Packages include right from
train ticket conformation to the accommodation in hotels, booking cabs, darshans, and
site seeing, food at affordable prices. Every thing is through the main site that is IRCTC
online website. Upon completion of the booking process the customers get information
either through mail or to mobile.
Major Players in the Industry:
As travel industry is growing rapidly there is an immense presence of private and
government players in the industry. Major players include AP tourism, APSRTC tourist
Competition is from both private and public sector organizations. Some of the
competitors include

Other State Road Transport Corporations

Private Tours & Travelers
AP Tourism Packages
Airlines (offering packages at reasonable lower costs) Prefer for the reason of time
Tangibility Spectrum:


Ambience: Infrastructure of bus, seating type (sleeper or semi sleeper), DVD facility,
AC, Bed sheets, Water bottles, warmers, and curtains.
TOURIST GUIDE: Uniform, Qualification, social skills.
Search and experience qualities: Distribution of brochures, Digital Marketing improves
Physical Representations: logos, colors enhances visual representation
Documentation: Displaying Quality assurance certificates by service providers
Customer Expectations in this industry:
Customer expectations are very high. IRCTC is meeting the expectations of the
passengers by providing security, safe travel, affordable prices along with packages,
number tourist destinations, more services during peak season. Fulfilling the promise
made by the service provider initially is the primary expectation of the customer.
Bundle of Benefits:
Confirmed reservation in train
Hotel accommodation
Cab facilities
Al carte menu
Affordable packages
Free site seeing / experienced tourist guides
Value for the money
Insurance policies (Travel)
Medical check ups
Journey by exclusive A/C trains
Service Quality Dimensions:
There are five service quality dimensions. They are Tangibles, Reliability,
Responsiveness, Assurance and Empathy.
Appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials.
Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.
Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service
Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence
Caring, individualized attention the firm provides its customers
Yes all the service quality dimensions are applied for this service industry. The most
important quality is reliability because the tourism package involves many promises of
services by the provider and it is the challenge of the provider to satisfy and provide the
promised performance. The least applied quality is assurance.
Customers Involvement:
The importance of customers in successful service delivery is obvious if service
performances are looked at as a form of drama .Customer participation at some level is
inevitable in service delivery. Services are actions or performances, typically produced
and consumed simultaneously.
Booking tickets through rail tourism India
Knowing information through web
Giving proper feedback to improve the service
Cooperating with the service provider


Service Encounters:
Glitches in online reservation
When a page is refreshed member has to login again
Lot of time in crediting the amount when cancellation is done
Service not available 24 hours
Most of the time after login in and some time even it shows service unavailable.
concurrency problems
coordination between the employees and the management
promised facilities not on time

More accurate online system
Eradicate system hang-ups, server down problems
Fast reimbursement of money
Proper coordination between management and third party service providers.


Service Environment:
The place of business in which the transaction occurs has been defined as any tangible
Commodities which facilitate s performance or communication of the service or as the

Service Quality:

Service quality is defined as a global judgment or attitude relating to the overall

excellence or superiority of the service, thus service quality has a direct impact on
customer satisfaction.

Expectation provides a standard of comparison against which consumers judge an

Organizations performance. It is defined as the customer's frame of reference with
respect to a product/ service that allows anticipation of product/service performance.

Perception is defined as the processes by which people select, organize, and interpret
stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture. Perception is a cognitive episode
triggered by causal interaction between sense and object. This interaction gives rise to a
preliminary awareness of an unstructured whole.


The customer's satisfaction is the outcome of complex information processing which

essentially consists of a comparison of a consumer's experience with a purchased product
or service and his/her expectations with regard to the fitness of this product or service for
its intended purpose.

Equity theory proposes that people have a notion of fairness that influences whether they
are satisfied with a particular product or service experience or service environment.

With increasing competition in most service industries as well as rising customer

expectations and their demand for superior services at equitable prices, there is a need to
strengthen all the facets of competitiveness. This means the service environment is
increasingly becoming important. We have argued that the servicescape communicates
quality, expectations and is the locus of customer-provider interactions. The more
conducive the interaction environment, we argue the greater the opportunities for
customer and employee satisfaction, the more likely the future tourist patronage and the
less likely the complaints.
Reasonable prices compared to other service providers
Prices depend on tour packages and distance
Advertising at the railway stations
Pamphlets at the reservation counters
Arranges special trains during seasonal time
Attaching extra compartments to handle the rush
It is the duty of the employees to take care of the customers during the tour. For this
purpose they are given special training on handling, interacting with the customers.
Delivering the promised service is the upfront challenge of the employee in winning the
customer satisfaction.
Confirmed train ticket
Facilitation at stations
Government subsidiary industry
Price factor
Quality of service when compared to private operators
Flexibility of timings
More Pilgrimage destinations
Improve in service to attract niche market
Tie-ups and joint ventures with other service providers

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) operate an
online booking service that has simplified rail travel in India since its deployment in
2002. During the set-up of this solution, IRCTC overcame several challenges and its web
site has now emerged as a user-friendly, profit-making enterprise.
The Indian Railways has the second-largest railway network in the world. It is run by the
Ministry of Railways, which formed the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism
Corporation Limited (IRCTC) in 1999 to manage hospitality services during rail travel.
The IRCTC is also responsible for information, publicity and global reservation systems.
It launched an online booking service in August 2002 to enable customers to book tickets
from the comfort of their own home and to reduce ticketing costs for the railways through
savings in manpower.
Current Trends:
In order to reach maximum number of customers, those who were looking for the
convenience of booking railway tickets online, but did not have a credit card or a net
banking facility to make that transaction on the net.
Internet Company Sify has announced its tie up with Indian Railway Catering and
Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to make online railway ticketing service available at over
3,400 iWay cybercafs across 154 cities, on cash payments. As the first step, a pilot
project at 10 iWays in Delhi has been kicked-off on Thursday.
With the alliance in place, users can approach Sify iWay where the cafe administrator
would book the railway ticket online, based on particulars such as date of travel and
The customer then pays cash against the ticket and collects the ticket printout. In case of
ticket cancellations, the customers will follow the standard cancellation process of
IRCTC after which the customer gets cash against the cancellation.
But the convenience of e-ticketing would come at a price. Users opting to book e-tickets
through the cash mode would have to shell out a transaction charge of Rs 15 in case of a
sleeper class ticket and Rs 25 in case of AC ticket.
Role of Technology:
The IRCTC reservation site allows passengers to access train fares, routes and
availability in real-time, book tickets online and track the status of their ticket.

The system runs on a BroadVision e-commerce platform and Intel-based servers which,
according to the IRCTC, provide a robust and cost-efficient platform. The organization
also uses a combination of Intel, Red Hat and Oracles E-Business Suite. This allows it to
leverage its legacy applications with efficient integration and provide reliability for the
web-enabled system.128-bit encryption and the practice of not storing credit card details
in the system ensures secure online transactions.
Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), which manages the original railway
reservation system, collaborated with IRCTC to integrate the online services with the
existing system. BroadVision integrated the legacy system with the online reservation
system and developed a process to verify credit card information in real-time, as
bookings had to be confirmed on the railway reservation system immediately.
BroadVision developed the e-commerce application with an Oracle backend; HCL is
charged with the network and its security.
Major players in the industry:
IRCTC is the only online reservation site for the passengers to book the tickets online.
Apart from the IRCTC website, Indian Railways operated reservation centers are the
other players in this industry.
Broadly thinking competitors of IRCTC are, But at the later
stage they have established a joint venture with these providers.

Tangibility Spectrum:


Detailed WebPages
Easy search of information
Physical representations: Logos, colors used enhances visual representation
Documentation: Publishing of growth in usage of online booking
All these factors enhances the tangibility of ONLINE BOOKING
Customer expectations:
Online reservation counters at the nearest place
More number of authorized dealers for booking of tickets
Option of booking tickets through cash
Fast completion of booking process
No hang ups in the middle of transactions
Security during online transactions
Bulk booking (more than 6 tickets)
Fast credit of money on cancellation of tickets
Bundle of benefits:
Time saving, no need to stand in queues
Easy to access as it is user friendly
All the options of direct booking available
Priority to customers associated with SBI
Availing discounts for the priority customers
No tension of loosing the ticket
Loyalty programs
Service Quality Dimensions:
There are five service quality dimensions. They are Tangibles, Reliability,
Responsiveness, Assurance and Empathy.
Appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials.
Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.
Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service
Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence
Caring, individualized attention the firm provides its customers
Tangibles and Responsiveness are applicable to this industry. The most important quality
is responsiveness and the least important is tangibles.
Customers Involvement in service delivery:
Providing proper information at the time of transaction
Finishing the transaction process within the stipulated time
Carrying the identity card to avail the Eticket booked journey
Taking the printout of the ticket rather than arguing wit the TT
Following the instructions, terms & conditions properly to utilize the services.

Service Encounters:
Only attracting middle class and high class of society
Confusing look when the website is opened
Often server down problems
Reimbursement of money when the cancellation is done
Confirmations call should be given to the member when he/she books a ticket
Call centre to provide information about the booking
Continuous R &D team to handle the system more effectively

The environment in which service is delivered and in which the firm and customers
interact, and any tangible commodities that facilitate performance or communication of
the service.
Roles of Services cape:-
A services cape is not a passive setting it plays an important role in service transactions.
An evaluation of the roles they have in service encounters will reveal how important it is
to design an appropriate services cape .A services cape plays four important roles.
IRCTC is completely an e-based service provider; the physical evidence of IRCTC can
be authorized dealers of IRCTC, SIFY browsers.
Even though the physical evidence of IRCTC online booking is not there, the competitive
edge over the other providers is great. It delivers the excellent mechanism for the
convenience of the customers.
Through websites
Advertising at the stations
Service charges for the booked tickets
Pricing is the same as compared to the direct booking
An average of 1,00,000 transactions per day
No competitors in online booking
Fast and preferred service for booking tickets
Lapses in the technology at times
Slow processing
No bulk booking
More authorized dealers
Joint ventures with private operators
More options and features using the latest technology to attract more and more customers
and tie ups with sify and cox and kings
Opportunity for private agents to venture in to this segment.

Primary purposes of website - Reservation and Train Inquiry are not visible
Lots of advertisements on the home page
Lot of blinking / animated portions distract the user
Form does not fit into a single window, ideally it should
Checking availability is a crucial part of the booking process, but the user has to click a
button and see a popup window for this.
Many a times, this even comes up with an Unable to retrieve due to communication
failure problem!
There are too many payment options, and difficult to understand which one is better.
This also comes up in a pop-up window. Ideally, this can be a preference that can be set
in the user profile.
It is difficult to understand the three different types of tickets, there is help icon, but it
opens in a popup window.
Value Added Services are on the same page here, which can be avoided.
The login portion itself has too many options.
Customers are complaining with the number of outlets available for booking the tickets.
Customers have few options of selecting from the tour packages.
Employees are not trained to explain the packages available to the illiterates.


Single screen, rich internet application.

Login not required for checking availability, only for booking, and can be done after
Train availability select multiple trains, and click once to get availability in all
Single spot for advertisement can rotate
Payment options one chosen by default, others available on request
No page reloads easy for the user, more efficient for the server
Ability to change one item and automatic update on others this will make it easier for
users to book their tickets significantly reducing the transaction time
The back-end and front-end are separated, front-end is intelligent can cache data,
process it etc.
Advertisements can still be delivered; you can even deliver contextual ads as the user
plans their travel. Other pages of the site can also be integrated.
To start few more IRCTC reservations outlets for the convenience of the customers.
More tour packages for the convenience of the customers.


With Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and travel portals pushing sale
of online rail tickets, the share of IRCTC in the reserved ticketing revenues of Indian Railways
has gone up to 40 per cent in the first two quarters of this year, from around 25 per cent last year.
In fact, with the increasing penetration and use of the internet, IRCTCs ticketing revenue has
seen an increase of 462 per cent over the past three years. From Rs 704.9 crore in 2006-07 and
Rs 1,744.7 crore in 2007-08, the corporation got Rs 3,966.98 crore from sale of online tickets
last year. And, experts feel with the Unique Identification project of the government, the market
for online ticketing will only increase tremendously.
According to ticket sale data provided by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation
(IRCTC), which sells rail tickets online, out of the 880,000-odd reserved rail tickets sold a day
between April and July 2009, around 300,000, or 34 per cent, were sold online. In 2008-09, of
the 860,000 or so reserved rail tickets sold every day, around 200,000 (above 25 per cent) were
sold online. IRCTC accounted for 17 per cent of the total passenger earnings of the Indian
Railways in 2008-09.
The corporation has, to this end, collaborated with 81 organizations and 11 state governments to
operate multi-utility kiosks, which provide online ticketing services. IRCTC has further tied-up
with Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum
Corporation to provide e-ticket reservation facilities to people through their chain of petrol
pumps and retail gas agencies. Ticketing sales data from the corporation recorded between April
and September 2009 reveal that online ticket reservation services have had a good response from
people of lower income groups.

IRCTC, making efforts to make e-ticketing facilities available and accessible to all sections of