IRCTC: A PROGRESS PROFILE

BACKGROUND

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) is a Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Railways.   IRCTC was incorporated on 27th September, 1999 as an extended arm of the Indian Railways to upgrade, professionalize and manage the catering and hospitality services at stations, on trains and other locations and to promote domestic and international tourism through development of budget hotels, special tour packages, information & commercial publicity and global reservation systems.

While discharging its mandate, the Company has made a significant mark in its passenger-services oriented business lines like setting up of Food Plazas on Railway premises, ‘Railneer', Rail Tour Packages and ‘Internet Ticketing' bringing great deal of professionalism into the operations. In addition to above, IRCTC is managing on Board Catering Services in Rajdhani / Shatabdi / Duronto   and Mail / Express Trains and Static Catering Units such as Refreshment Rooms, AVMs, Book Stalls, Milk Stalls, Ice Cream Stalls, Petha & Peda Stalls etc. across the Indian Railway Network.

ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE

Corporate Office of IRCTC is situated at New Delhi , which is headed by the Managing Director. Managing Director is being assisted by three Directors, Director(Catering Services), Director(Tourism & Marketing) and Director(Finance) and nine Group General Managers.  

For smooth operations of the business across all over the country, five Zonal Offices are working at Delhi , Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai & Secunderabad.   South Zone Office is headed by Regional Director and all other Zonal Offices are headed by Group General Managers.   All Group General Managers have vast experience of working in Indian Railways. These Zonal Offices are assisted by ten Regional Offices at Lucknow , Chandigarh , Jaipur, Bhubneshwar, Guwahati, Patna , Bhopal , Ahemedabad, Bangalore and Ernakulam, which are headed by Chief Regional Managers / Regional Managers.  

MANPOWER:

At present IRCTC has 4453 employees (as on 31st December, 2009) on its roll. The employees comprise of IRCTC Direct Employees, Deemed Deputation absorbees, Deemed Deputationists, deputationists and fixed term employees.   For bringing professionalism in the work culture, IRCTC has recruited professionals in different field like HR, Tourism, Catering and Finance, through direct recruitment or campus recruitment.  

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

During the year 2008-09, the Corporation achieved a total income of Rs. 618.77 Crores as compared to Rs. 527.66 Crores in 2007-08 thereby registering a growth of 17.30 %.   The increase was achieved in spite of the fact that bed roll and cleaning business has been transferred back to Railways.   The major increase in the income in the year 2008-09 over previous year was achieved due to licensee catering (from Rs. 289.20 Crores to Rs. 341.02 Crores), quantum jump in internet ticketing (from Rs. 39.18 Crores to Rs.74.81 Crores) and tourism activities (from Rs. 9.72 Crores to Rs. 27.94 Crores).

The income of licence catering increased on account of higher number of units put on tender, efficient tendering system and increase in licence fee from static units. Quantum jump in internet ticketing was witnessed due to good marketing efforts, upgraded infrastructure and improved customer care. The growth in tourism business was achieved due to IRCTC's foray into educational tour business, tour package business take over of Bharat Darshan trains by IRCTC.  

A net profit of Rs. 46.50 Crores was earned during 2008-09 as compared to Rs. 20.75 Crores in 2007-08 due to enhanced revenue and control on expenditure. An amount of Rs.30.00 Crore has been provided as Haulage Charges as was provided during the previous year. As at 31 st March 2009, the Reserves and Surplus of the Corporation stood at Rs.94.46 Crore. The Net Worth went up from Rs. 78.85 Crore during the previous year to Rs.114.46 Crore during the year under review.

CONTRIBUTION TO REVENUES OF RAILWAYS:

During the year the Corporation contributed a sum of Rs.76.26 crore to the revenues of Indian Railways as against a sum of Rs. 62.76 Crore during the previous year. Contribution to the Revenues of Railways comprises Haulage Charges, Concession fee, License fee, User Charges and Dividend. The sharing of revenues with the various Zonal Railways has been made in terms of Memorandum of Understanding dated 17 th January, 2007 . In addition to the above, tickets worth Rs.3888.82 Crore were booked during the year as against Rs.1705.03 Crore during the previous year.

MAIN BUSINESS ACTIVITIES

IRCTC's main business activities are :

(i)On Board Catering Services and Static catering units on the Indian Railway Network:

Hospitality Services covers on board catering services in the trains, catering services at stations through stalls, food plazas/fast food units & Automatic Vending Machines commissioned at A, B & C class of Railway stations.

IRCTC is managing currently 19 Rajdhani, 13 Shatabdi, 16 Jan Shatabdi, 6 Duronto Express , 9 Garib Raths, 205 Mail/Express trains and 118 trains have train side vending facility. The graphical representation of various types of trains is depicted below:

IRCTC has currently 53 Food Plazas, 13 Fast Food units and 1 Quick Service Food Kiosks, 677 Automated Vending Machine , 2950 Stalls, 3291 Trolleys & Khomchas , 698 Book Stalls, 249 Milk Stall & 7918 Static units spread over 1008 no. of Special A, A, B & C Category of Stations over Indian Railways network.

•  Manufacturing Packaged Drinking Water for Indian Railway Passengers,

  D:\Documents and Settings\compaq\Desktop\qcifolder\DSC00238_1.JPGTwo plants of Railneer packaged drinking water are operating at Nangloi ( Delhi ) and Danapur ( Bihar ).The capacity of the plants was increased from 5,500 cartons per day to 8,500 cartons per day during March, 2009 for Nangloi Plant and during December, 2009 of Danapur Plant.  

New Rail Neer plants: For Southern Region, Rail Neer Plant of 15,000 cartons per day is being set up at Palur near Chennai. Tender has been awarded and physical work for setting up building is in advance stage. For Western region, architect and plant consultants have been appointed for Rail Neer plant at Ambernath near Mumbai. The rated capacity of the plant is 25,000 cartons per day.

•  Managing the Departmental Catering units, taken over from Indian Railways.

Four Rajdhani trains and four mail/express trains were operational as on 31.3.09. Patna Rajdhani train was taken over under departmental operation from August 2008.   Total 518 stalls and 419 trolleys were under departmental operation during the year.

(iv)       Quality Control and Complaint Redressal System

 

• To maintain quality of services onboard trains, IRCTC has set up control rooms at New Delhi , Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad. These Zonal Controls have been strengthened and equipped with phone, fax & PC with broadband connectivity, and are operational around the clock, seven days a week. Central Control office at New Delhi regularly coordinates with all the five zonal offices for effective monitoring of the complaints & catering activities.

•  A toll free no. 1800-111-139 has been launched for swift redressal of complaints & suggestions conveyed by passengers on phone. Passengers can call this no. from train as well without any charges & register their grievance/suggestion.

•  In order to facilitate another option of lodging complaint/suggestion by passenger, facility of receipt of complaint through SMS on phone number 9971-111-139 has been started. This will enable the traveling passengers to have easy access to the complaints redressal system without any other charges.

•  Quality Control Professionals having Diploma/Degree holders in hospitality with 2 or more years of field experience were inducted/engaged in August, 2008 & posted in Zonal & Regional offices. Specific trains have been allotted to them for achieving overall improvements in on board services.

•  Food Safety Audit

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(Food Audit in progress in the pantry car )

An improved understanding of the risk based approach and growing awareness about the impact of food safety on public health has led to make significant changes to their food control system in recent years.

Keeping in view the importance of food safety and other related issues of the food preparation and serving areas on static/mobile catering units, food safety & hygiene audit were performed against the criteria including cleaning and sanitation, food storage, personal hygiene, personal practices, presentation applicable to IRCTC and   infrastructure and pest control applicable to Railways.

Food Safety & Hygiene audit were carried out on 680 catering units between March'07 – Aug'09. Mobile units and Base Kitchens covered under Food Audits include 540 trains, 115 Base Kitchens & 25 Food Plazas respectively. Repeat food audit was conducted on Rajdhanis, Shatabdis, Mail/Express trains & the improvement in the ratings is seen as per the graph “A” indicated below. Repeat food audit was also conducted in the Base Kitchens to assess the improvement in food audit ratings and the improvement in the food audit rating is seen as per graph “B” below:-

 

  Graph “A”                                                                  Graph “B”

  •  A leading market research firm M/s IMRB International has been engaged to measure the degree of satisfaction of rail travelers on various aspects such as Food & refreshment, Bed roll & linen, Staff Behavior & Compartment related aspects to identify the areas for improvement. The factor responsible for deriving the overall onboard experience for the travelers have been classified into the following four broad aspects: i) Compartment Related Aspects, ii) Food & Refreshment Related Aspects, iii) Staff Behaviour Related Aspects & iv) Linen & Bedroll Related Aspects.

 

A total of 501 trains have been covered in 6 rounds over last two and half years.   The table given below highlights the mean scores across the trains covered in different rounds for the four broad aspects:-

Legends

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Round 5

Round 6

Number of Trains

142

115

50

15

80

99

Compartment Related aspects

2.81

2.71

2.6

2.8

2.8

2.67

Food & Refreshment related aspects

2.71

2.6

2.47

2.74

2.77

2.58

Staff Behavior Related aspects

2.9

2.81

2.83

3.11

3.18

3.01

Bedroll & Linen related aspects

2.88

2.85

2.69

2.89

2.96

2.72

 

Overall improvement of 2.01 % in Rajdhani trains, 1.03% in Shatabdi Trains & 2.24 % in Mail/Express trains have been observed while making comparison of rating for year 2007-08 & 2008-09.

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•  M/s RITES, a public sector undertaking has been engaged for Certification for Food Safety Management System (FSMS) as per ISO 22000:2005 in Quality Management System (QMS) of Base Kitchens, Rajdhani Trains and stalls of IRCTC. Three Departmental Base Kitchens at HWH, BCT & NDLS have been ISO 22000:2005 Certified. In addition departmental Rajdhanis viz. BCT Rajdhani, A K Rajdhani & HWH Rajdhani have also been ISO 22000:2005 Certified by the certification agency.

Licensees have been advised to get ISO certification for their catering units before the next renewal of the contract. As on date there are about 54 Base Kitchens, 24 Food Plazas and 10 Trains have been ISO certified.

  • Complaint Management System

On-line Complaint Management System has been introduced to facilitate the passengers for lodging their online complaint by logging on our website at www.irctc.com . Complaint is sent directly to the concerned licensee for immediate submission of comments. A unique complaint number is allotted to the complainant for viewing the status by the complainant at any time. An auto-generated reply with the unique complaint number is sent to the complainant mail id. This system is also assessable with all the Zonal/Regional/Corporate Officers. In addition to this, we are also in process of automizing inspections in CMS. QCPs & IRCTC officials will be able to directly feed in their inspections in Mobile & Static inspection formats in CMS. These approaches of complaint handling have resulted into appreciations by Rail Users at large.

  • Pasting of Bi-Lingual Menu Stickers to arrest OverchargingDSCN0129

    In order to remove the menace of over-charging by the service provider in the Mail/Express trains, all India drives on pasting of menu stickers through Quality Control Professionals have been launched from time to time. The purpose of pasting the menu stickers in the coaches is to bring awareness among the passengers on quantity & rates of meal items of the standard menu as well as other relevant information like Toll Free Number for lodging their grievances/suggestions, standard rates of tea/coffee, Rail Neer etc.

                                                                                                                             (Bilingual Menu Sticker displayed in coaches )

•  Expansion of passenger ticketing and PRS network through Internet / modern technology based ticketing.

  IRCTC provides tickets to the public in the comforts of their home/residence instead of visiting the Railway Reservation Centers for booking.   The delivery of tickets is made either through the courier or a person can himself take the print out for travelling.   On an average more than 2,03,000 tickets are sold through IRCTC's website in a day.   By doing this, IRCTC is not only saving the time of the public but also saving their cost of travelling to these centers.   For Railways it is saving on their infrastructure like buildings, air-conditioning, electricity, furniture, staff etc.   The spirit behind the project was that instead of the customers going to Passenger Reservation System (PRS), the PRS should be brought to the customer.

  •  Managing all India Railway Enquiry Call Centre,

  IRCTC is managing a Call Center for passenger enquiry. A customer can dial 139 from anywhere in the country and get all information from Call Center related to train timing, PNR confirmation, train routes and other relevant information related to Indian Railways.

  •  Running of Special Train,   Special Charters / Coach and promotion of Value added tours,

  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. At present IRCTC is providing following Tourism services across India :

•  Buddhist Circuit Special Train

IRCTC has designed a train for the Buddhist Circuit keeping in mind the profile of Buddhist tourists. It covers important sites connected to life of Buddha and Agra : Bodh Gaya , Sarnath , Kushinagar , Lumbini , Shravasti , Rajgir , Nalanda. The train offers comprehensive on board and off board services comprising of catering, housekeeping, hotel accommodation, road transport, sightseeing, trained tourist guides, security, medical facilities, insurance etc. all inclusive in the package. This train won the National Tourism Award in Feb., 2009

•  Bharat Darshan – Village on Wheels

IRCTC is operating Bharat Darshan – Village on Wheels Train for Budget Traveller @   Rs 500/- per day (all inclusive package).   The package includes Train journey, accommodation, road transport, site seeing, meals etc.   The itineraries range from 7 to 20 days covering major tourist and religious places across India .

  •  Rail Tour Packages

IRCTC offers all Inclusive packages with confirmed Rail reservation, hotel accommodation, road transportation, meals, sightseeing etc. At present over 70 packages for important tourist destinations across India covering Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh etc. are being operated.

•  Hill Charters

The Steam trains are operated on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Kangra Valley Railway, Kalka-Shimla Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Hill charters showcase the special characteristics of the respective hill sections with heritage stations, seasonal features, breath taking scenery & adventure tourism. IRCTC offers single window value added services.

  •  Educational Tours

  IRCTC offers Educational Tours Package with rich educational content and in a caring environment for the students of educational institutions across the country. The facility is being used by Kendriya Vidyala Sangathan, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal and Delhi State Government Schools.

•  Tourism Portal

IRCTC's tourism portal www.railtourismindia.com , is the fast growing a one stop travel shop and meet all the travel & tourism needs of a tourist. Online booking of tour packages, hotels and Car Rental across the country is becoming increasingly popular through this National Tourism Award winner tourism portal of IRCTC.

•  Budget Hotel

  IRCTC is planning to develop Budget Hotels through Public Private Partnership. Budget Hotels are to be set up in the vicinity of railway stations for tourists and rail users. These Budget Hotels will provide quality guestrooms with modern facilities, décor and ambience on affordable prices, choice of food and beverage services and Web enabled reservation system.

At present four budget hotels are operational at New Delhi , Howrah , Puri & Ranchi in the existing buildings.

•  Luxury Tourist Train

IRCTC has set up a 50:50 JV Company, Royale India Train Tours Limited (RIRTL) in Participation with M/s Cox & Kings India Limited. RIRTL will run Pan India Luxury Tourist Train. Estimated Cost of the train is Rs.49.48 Crore. The Luxury Train named as Maharajas' Express is owned by IRCTC. Marketing and operation of the Maharajas' Express would be done by RIRTL.   The train was officially unveiled at the ITB Berlin in March, 2009.  

      

Interior of Maharaja Express

            The train has started its commercial operation with effect from 6 th March, 2010.

           FUTURE PLANS: Some of the initiatives planned for tourism, catering activities and Internet Ticketing are as under :   

Catering :

•  Strategic tie ups : IRCTC is working towards tie ups in the areas of mobile catering, Rail Neer and product formation.  

•  Static Units:   Streamlining of procurement process, standardization of services and automation in base kitchens is the focus area in     major static units.

•  New Rail Neer Plants :   For Southern Region, Rail Neer plant is being set up at Pulur near Chennai.   Tender has been awarded and     physical work for setting up building is in advance stage.   For Western region, architect and plant consultants have been appointed for     Rail Neer plant at Ambernath near Mumbai.

•  Modular Stalls :   Replacement of all catering stalls with uniform design of modular stalls is proposed to be undertaken and M/s Jindal     Steel is working on a prototype which will give longer life and aesthetic look.

•  Cell Kitchens/Base Kitchens : Plans are to set up another 100 licensee cell kitchens.

•  Food Plazas/Fast Food Units/Quick Service Food Kiosks : More than 20 food plazas, 20 Fast Food Units and 5 QSFK are in advance     stage of planning.

•  Food Courts :   IRCTC is planning to develop food courts at stations with contemporary interior designs.

Tourism :

•  Launching of a Luxury Tourist Train with pan India itineraries.

•  Thrust of Educational Tour on All India basis.

•  Further development of rail tour package business

•  Strategic tie-ups for promoting tourism

•  Comprehensive travel services to foreign tourists booking tickets on IRCTC website.  

Internet Ticketing

•  Modernization of IT infrastructure.

•  Setting up of disaster recovery site.

AWARDS CONFERRED ON IRCTC RECENTLY

•  National award for E-Governance Best Citizen Centric application for the year   2007-08

•  “National Award for E-Governance, 2007-08” jointly by Department of IT, Govt. of India and Govt. of Haryana.

•  National Tourism Award for Travel Portal – Railtourismindia.com in Feb 2008.

•  EMPI Indian Express IT Innovation Award for excellent work in Citizen Centric Services – 2008 - 2009.

•  Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Award for Most Innovative Tourism Packages in Mass Facilitation category by Govt. of Madhya      Pradesh.

•  National Tourism Award and Award of Excellence by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India for the Buddhist Circuit Special Train in     Feb'09.

•  CNBC Awaaz – Special Commendation for redefining Indian Railways Award – 2009

•  PC Quest – Most Innovative Project Award 2009

•  D.L.Shah Economic on Quality National Award from Quality Council of India on 19th February, 2010.

   

Managing Director/IRCTC is receiving D.L.Shah Economic on Quality National Award from Quality Council of India on 19th February, 2010..