Wary of your waitlisted IRCTC ticket? You’re among 30-40% of the 10 lakh people who book tickets on the IRCTC website daily. Yet, a whopping 57% of the seats go vacant. Few years ago two ex-IBM engineers felt this had to change.
“We researched the railways data for trends and found a pattern. There was a possibility we could predict availability”, Dinesh Kumar Kotha, Co-founder, Confirmtkt says.
The duo created an algorithm that considers historical data on key factors like month, holidays, week/weekend, train, type of journey to predict the possibility of you landing a confirmed ticket on the train of your choice. Their new feature ‘Alternates’ rolled out in first half of August claims to increase the chances many-folds.
Mind, users still need to visit IRCTC‘s official website or app to complete the booking. However, judging that over 95% Indian rail travelers are middle-class and rail prices are often a third of bus travel and a fraction of airfare, there is no lack of demand for such hacks in the travel industry.
The prediction accuracy was previously 75%. It has jumped to more than 95% as of now.
“We are also working on predicting multi-train/break journeys. Alternative modes of transport can also be added. There are several options”, Kotha says.
When asked if he has a time-frame in mind to monetize, Kotha agrees. “We’re experimenting on the best time to monetize. Our target is a million users. Currently we have around 2.7 lakh”, he says.