The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the rail ministry’s e-ticketing arm and the country’s largest e-commerce portal, is eyeing ticket sales worth Rs 27,000 crore in the financial year ending March 2017, a 20 per cent jump from Rs 22,500 crore worth of tickets sold in the previous financial year.
“We booked nearly 200 million tickets this year (2015-16) compared to 183 million tickets in the previous financial year. In the current financial year, total tickets booked should grow by 20-25 million,” IRCTC Managing Director A K Manocha told Business Standard.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event to launch the facility of ticket booking for foreign tourists through internal credit cards, Manocha also said IRCTC’s total income jumped 34 per cent to Rs 1,490 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 1,100 crore in the previous fiscal. Net profit of the Indian Railways arm also rose 20 per cent to Rs 130 crore from Rs 108 crore in 2014-15.
Manocha said the key financial numbers posted in 20150-16 could have been better but for the requirement to share 50 per cent of total revenue from service charge with Indian Railways as fees. IRCTC currently charges Rs 40 as service charge on every non-AC class ticket booked through its website and Ra 60 for every AC class ticket.
Clarifying on the recent media reports of a suspected massive hacking of IRCTC website where personal data of around 10 million users was feared to have been lost, Manocha said all the systems and data related to ticketing on the website are safe and secure and there is no need for consumers to panic.
“There has not been any incident of hacking of IRCTC website. Somebody shared with us a screenshot of the data that was purported to be leaked. Data pertaining to only 20 per cent of these 23 users has been found to be matching with IRCTC data. This includes names, mobile numbers, date of birth and residence state of 4-5 users,” Manocha said. He added that IRCTC website routinely receives an average of 38 attacks from hackers on a daily basis.
He also informed that IRCTC will in a month launch a new mobile application that will allow users to book airline tickets directly through the IRCTC platform. Also, the company will set up food vending machines as pilot projects on eight railway stations soon.