I R C T C Management Discussions


Indian Economy

Despite a grim picture for the global economy, Indias economic growth remained robust in FY 23 because of strong macroeconomic fundamentals, favourable domestic policy conditions, and the governments persistent focus on structural reforms. The Indian economy grew at and estimated 7% in FY 2022–23 according to NSOs second advance estimates.This was driven by strong growth in consumption, investment, and exports.

The growth in private consumption was driven by rise in agricultural income and rural wages in rural areas whereas in urban areas, private consumption was driven by growth in salaries and wages, as well as by growth in the services sector. Investment grew at a healthy pace led by government spending on infrastructure in manufacturing, services, roads, railways, and power. Exports grew at a robust pace driven by recovering global demand and a weak rupee with a demand for Indian goods in the United States and Europe. Exports of services grew driven by growth in IT-BPM exports and travel and tourism exports.

Outlook

Indias economic activity has remained robust amid global challengesbecauseofasupportivedomesticpolicyenvironment and the governments persistent focus on structural reforms.

Future economic development will be encouraged by rising disposable income following a stabilising inflation trend. The Indian economy will be able to weather the turbulence brought on by geopolitical tension thanks to policy interventions, a steady rise in domestic demand, and a robust growth rate that is relatively high among major economies in FY23.

Governments thrust on capex

For the third year in a row, the amount spent on capital investment in the Union Budget 2023 was sharply increased by 33% to Rs. 10 lakh crore . The governments initiatives to boost economic potential and job creation, draw in private investments, and provide a buffer against global challenges all hinge on this significant increase in recent years. Long-term effects on growth are caused by the governments emphasis on capital expenditures, notably in infrastructure-heavy sectors like roads, railways, housing, and urban affairs. The longer-term supply-side productive capacity is increased through capital expenditure, which on the one hand boosts aggregate demand and crowds in private spending at times of risk aversion. Capital spending has contributed to recent early indications of a recovery in private sector investments. The Centre has also offered many incentives to encourage states capital expenditure in the shape of long-term interest-free loans and capex-linked supplementary borrowing provisions in order to push for increasing Capex from all angles.

Industry Overview

Indian railways

Only behind the United States, Russia, and China, with more than 68,031 route kilometers, Indian Railways (IR) is the fourth-largest network in the world run by a single management. 2022–2023 saw the completion of 5243 km of track, as compared to 2902 km in 2021–2022. The daily average rail laying increased to 14.4 km which was the highest commissioning ever. The railways run 9,146 freight trains and 13,523 passenger trains per day. In FY 22–23, Indian Railways loaded 1512 MT of freight, setting a record. Under theVision 2024 targets of 2024 MT freight loading by 2024 has been envisaged. With 1.3 million employees, Indian Railways ranked eighth globally and first in the country becoming its top employer .

Indian Railways, a significant consumer of power in the nation plans to achieve net carbon emission omission by 2030. Indian Railways has reoriented its energy requirement in this regard to make more use of renewable sources. As of November 2022, facilities producing roughly 103 MW of wind power and 143 MW of solar power (from both land and rooftop sources) have been commissioned . Also, the Indian Railways is increasingly progressing to accomplish the mission of 100% electrification and become the largest green railway network in the world. To achieve this, the Indian Railways has solarized more than 1000 stations.Electrification of 1,973 Route km (2,647 TKM) was achieved during 2022-23, which is 41% higher as compared to corresponding period of 2021-22.

The number of originating passengers surpassed 418.4 crore (up to November 2022) for FY 2022-23, continuing the rapid expansion of passenger traffic.In the upcoming years, increased passenger traffic will be facilitated by increased mobility across the nation and a demand for quicker and more efficient trains.

Major initiatives of Indian railways

A National Rail Plan (NRP) for India- 2030 has been created by Indian Railways which aims to establish a "future-ready" railway system by 2030. The NRP aims to develop measures to raise the modal share of the Railways in goods to 45% based on both operational capacities and commercial policy initiatives. The plans goal is to build capacity ahead of demand, which will then be able to meet demand growth up to 2050. It also aims to raise the modal share of railroads in freight traffic to 45% and maintain it . Apart from these other initiatives are

• Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project approved by the government in 2015 with the assistance of the government of Japan on both a technical and financial level, is now being carried out, and its survey and design elements have been completed.

• The construction of two dedicated freight corridors, known as the Eastern and Western DFCs, along the golden quadrilateral, is one of the most ambitious and expansive infrastructure projects in the history of the railways. This project will increase the nations transport output while reducing transit time and cost.

• Based on industry demand and the potential for cargo traffic, private operators are developing GatiShakti MultiModal Cargo Terminals (GCTs) on both railway land and non-railway land. As of October 31, 2022, 21 GCTs had been activated, and more than 90 additional sites had been tentatively chosen for the creation of GCTs. This will encourage business investment in the construction of more terminals for managing rail goods.

• Hyperloop is a new kind of transportation that has the potential to be quicker and more environmentally friendly than both trains and aeroplanes. The technology is still in the early stages of development and the Indian Railways wants to create a Hyperloop Technology demonstration project. Indian Railways and IIT Madras have partnered to research hyperloop technology through the establishment of a $8.34 million Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technology at IIT Madras .

Government initiatives to improve the railways

The rapid speed of infrastructure improvement by Indian Railways (IR) has been made possible by the governments numerous initiatives and significantly increased funding allocation. This includes delegating authority at the local level, which has facilitated the commissioning of doubling projects, closely observing the advancement of projects at various levels, and maintaining regular contact with State Governments and other relevant parties in order to swiftly acquire land, obtain forestry and wildlife clearances, and resolve other project-related issues. The government took various initiatives like Public-Private Partnership (PPP), National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) and National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP). In addition to this, as part of the structural reforms with the objective to enhance efficiencies and cost competitiveness, Gati Shakti and National Logistics Policy (NLP) were also launched.

• In the Union Budget 2023-24, a capital outlay of Rs. 2.40 lakh crore has been provided for the Railways which is the highest ever.

• With a projected infrastructure expenditure of about 111 lakh crore during FY20-25, the government launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) with a forward-looking mindset in order to offer high quality infrastructure throughout the nation. Additionally, it plans to enhance project planning and draw in both domestic and foreign capital for infrastructure. The NIP includes new and brownfield infrastructure projects totaling more than 100 crore rupees. The NIP currently has 8,964 projects in various phases of implementation with a total investment of more than 108 lakh crore.

• The PM GatiShakti National Master Plan calls for the development of a unified platform under which all infrastructure projects related to various ministries and departments will be integrated into a vast database for effective planning and real-time implementation. The NIPs seven engine-related projects (roads, rail, ports, mass transit, waterways, and logistic infrastructure) will be in line with the PM GatiShakti framework.

Catering services

The market for catering services in India is fragmented, developing, and dominated by unorganised firms. In Indias catering service business, more organised foreign competitors have begun to emerge. India, China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Australia are anticipated to be prospective growth areas for the catering industry. Due to the rising urbanisation and expansion of organised and international companies in the market, the organised sector is anticipated to increase its market share during the projection period.

In the upcoming years, the market for catering services in India is anticipated to expand significantly.Rapidly rising business-to-business (B2B) events sector and the increasing availability of food and beverage services during corporate events are expected to drive this market. In addition, the market for catering services will expand as a result of factors like busy lifestyles and challenges with in-home cooking. Innovative catering services are being developed by hotels and restaurants, which is projected to support the catering service sector. The industry will also grow as a result of the increased emphasis on using technology to improve customer experience and reduce wait times for food. Due to the rapid expansion of international firms in developing nations, the demand for specialised catering services is rising. The market also provides possibilities for facilities such as mobile catering, airline catering, railway catering and show catering.

E booking industry

The demand for reliable travel, individualised service, exclusivity, and pleasant and professional interactions with personnel is on the rise, which is causing the market to expand. Additionally, it is anticipated that the youths growing propensity for group travel will hasten industrial development. Additionally, millennials and working professionals like internet travel booking services over offline ones. The market is expected to be driven by expanding digital technologies, constantly changing consumer spending patterns, and escalating urbanisation.

Travel technology makes it possible for customers to obtain travel-related services in a way that is both more convenient and cost-effective than traditional offline services, which is predicted to boost industry growth over the course of time. Additionally, speedy, user-friendly websites that are optimised for smart phones, Peer reviews, clear price comparisons, and 360-degree video tours are all features that help travellers plan and book their vacations online. Expanding online marketplaces and reliable providers of vacation packages, lodging, and other services around the world are creating new opportunities for the sector, which is anticipated to see growth accelerate in the industry.

Packaged drinking water

Indias bottled water market was valued at USD 22.72 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to reach USD 36.21 billion by 2030 .The demand for bottled water is a sign of the countrys growing health consciousness, particularly after COVID-19. While a sizeable percentage of the Indian population faces difficulties accessing clean drinking water, the price of packaged water is rising in major cities. The demand for bottled water has increased significantly over the past five years as a result of factors like rising disposable income, a growing need for hygiene, lower prices, easier access to packaged drinking water, and a scarcity of safe drinking water.

Travel and tourism

India is one of the most popular countries in terms of tourist expenditure because of its diversified geography and array of cultures, each of which offers its own unique experiences. India is a significant travel and tourist market and is a home to 40 UNESCO world heritage sites (as of 2023) . Cruises, adventure, medical, wellness, sports, MICE, eco-tourism, film, rural, and religious tourism are just a few of the unique travel options it offers. Both domestic and foreign tourists are aware of India as a destination for spiritual tourism. The latest research by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) also forecasted that the sectors contribution to the nations economy could reach almost Rs. 15.9 trillion (USD 215 bn) in 2022 1 per cent above 2019 levels. Employment levels are also set to grow to almost 35 million Travel & Tourism jobs, with an 8.3 per cent growth this year. Over the next decade, Indias Travel & Tourisms GDP is expected to grow at an average of 7.8 percent annually, compared to 6.7 percent of Indias overall economy, to reach almost Rs. 33.8 tn (USD 457 bn)- representing 7.2 per cent of the total economy .

Digitization in tourism

Digitization has revolutionized the travel and tourism industry by providing businesses with customer data to create bespoke and unforgettable experiences. AI chat-bots can be used to collect data from previous bookings and create a travel profile for customers. This helps provide personalized recommendations for hotels, room size, or rooms that fit their budget. Using an Omni channel approach and engagement with real-time information can provide a consistent experience. Loyalty programs that focus on primary markets and hyper-personalized retargeting campaigns are other key strategic developments in this sector.

The travel and tourism industry has seen digitalization grow over the last two decades. Online travel agencies (OTAs) and travel review websites have emerged, allowing customers to book travel services autonomously online. Customers also demand more digital experiences when traveling, such as virtual tours and mobile integration solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend as social distancing and hygiene concerns have made customers more willing to use digital services.

Digitalization provides tourism enterprises of all sizes with opportunities to access new markets and bring new tourism services to consumers globally. SMEs can improve access to market intelligence and facilitate access to global markets and knowledge networks at a low cost, enabling businesses to achieve scale without mass.

Technologies shaping the tourism industry

• Mobile technology/cloud computing

• Artificial Intelligence (AI)

• Internet of Things (IoT)

• Data analytics

• Augmented reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

• Blockchain

Government initiatives and schemes to aid the tourism industry

Indian travel and tourism industry is expected to play a significant role in achieving Indias goal of having a US$ 5 trillion GDP by 2025. The Government of India (GoI) has developed many policies and programs to support and promote the sector in recognition of the sectors significance for economic growth. Over the past few years, the governments main area of attention has been infrastructure development. The nations growing investments in improving its port development and road and rail infrastructure are major factors in the expansion of the travel and tourism industry.

Adarsh Station Scheme is helping to modernize railway stations enabling major Indian cities to develop into transport hubs while enhancing connectivity to lesser-known locations throughout the nation and putting them on the domestic tourism map.

• The revised draft of the Tourism Policy, which intends to boost domestic travel to untapped smaller cities, vacation spots, and religious circuits of the nation, has provided an additional boost.

• With the mantra of ‘vocal for local, the revamped scheme namely Swadesh Darshan 2.0 seeks to attain "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" by realizing Indias full potential as a tourism destination. Swadesh Darshan 2.0 is to develop sustainable and responsible tourism destinations covering tourism and allied infrastructure, tourism services, human capital development, destination management and promotion backed by policy and institutional reforms.

PRASAD scheme is ‘Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive. This scheme focuses on developing and identifying pilgrimage sites across India for enriching the religious tourism experience. It aims to integrate pilgrimage destinations in a prioritised, planned and sustainable manner to provide a complete religious tourism experience. .

• The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India plans to provide education, training and certification to the tourism service providers at every level through the CBSP (Capacity Building for Service Providers) Scheme. The main objectives of this initiative are to train and up-grade manpower at every strata of service in the tourism sectors both in urban as well as rural areas.

• To increase investments throughout the industry, the government has authorised 100% Foreign Direct Investment through the automatic method in the travel and tourism industry.

• Also, the business has benefited from the reduction in the GST rate on all hotel room rates, which is anticipated to increase the sectors competitiveness on a global scale.

• Additionally, the Indian government has launched its

National Digital Tourism Mission to bridge the information gap among tourism stakeholders. A mobile app for E-tourist visas, classification of tourist destinations, special tourism zones, and the creation of five missions are provisions in the draft of the new national policy. This would ensure sustainable, responsible, and inclusive development of tourism. Through the NDTM, a single source of truth among departments and external agencies would enable improved efficiency and effectiveness in governance. Directories and registries would allow digital verification of tour operators, travel agents, licensed bars, and increase trust between tourists and ecosystem actors.

Initiatives of Ministry of Railways to improve rail tourism

The railways play a vital role in promoting tourism in the country by providing affordable and comfortable travel options to tourists. In addition to regular train services, the Indian Railways offers specialized tourist trains, such as the Palace on Wheels, Deccan Odyssey, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels in association with State Tourism Corporations, and Golden Chariot and Maharajas Express, in association with IRCTC. The Ministry of Railways has undertaken initiatives to encourage investment and modernize the rail system, including partnerships with private players to bring modern technologies and improve the passenger experience. The railways are also working to enhance safety, and implement technology upgrades, such as bio-toilets and WiFi at stations. The railways continue to work towards becoming a self-sustainable, cost-effective, and modern carrier of passengers and freight services provider of the highest standards in order to serve the growing needs of New India.

• The Bharat Gaurav Train scheme is a new initiative by the Indian Railways to promote tourism by allowing private players to operate theme-based tourist trains. The scheme aims to showcase Indias rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world. The scheme is expected to boost tourism, create jobs, and generate revenue for the Indian Railways. It is also expected to help to preserve Indias cultural heritage and promote economic development.

Partnership Approach for Passenger Train Operations:

Indian Railways is proactively engaging with stakeholders and initiating dialogue with private players to enhance the overall service quality and operational efficiency of passenger train operations. This partnership approach aims to bring modern technologies and private investments to the railways, which can improve the passenger experience.

Indigenous Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS): To further enhance the safety of train operations and travel pasengers, Indian Railways plans to install an indigenous Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) over railways. The system is already functional over a few route km and will be proliferated over the entire network in a phased manner.

"Meri Saheli" Initiative: This initiative aims to focus on the security of women traveling in trains. It is a special service that provides safety and security to women passengers traveling alone. The service is available in some selected trains across the country, and the railway plans to expand it to more trains.

Technology Upgradation: Indian Railways has undertaken various initiatives to upgrade its technology, including coaches fitted with bio-toilets, the pilot phase for feeding solar power to traction power commissioned, integrated mechanized cleaning provided at various stations, better train information display coach guidance system, train indication boards, Wi-Fi installations at station. Additionally, an artificial intelligence-based PNR confirmation predictor has been integrated with the Indian Railway Catering and

Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, which predicts the probability of waitlisted tickets getting confirmed at the time of booking and eliminates last-minute uncertainties faced by rail passengers.

Company overview- A smooth run

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) was established on September 27, 1999 as an extension of the Indian Railways for the purpose of upgradation, management, and professionalization of the catering and hospitality services provided at stations, trains, and other venues. IRCTC is a "Mini Ratna (Category-I)" Central Public Sector Enterprise that falls under the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India. Its objective is to promote domestic and international tourism through the creation of low-cost accommodations, unique tour packages, informational and promotional campaigns, and international reservation systems.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) offers ticketing, catering, and tourism services for the Indian Railways. The Indian Railways has authorised IRCTC as the only entity to sell train tickets online, offer food and catering services, and supply bottled drinking water to Indian railway stations and trains. Under the administrative supervision of the Ministry of Railways, it was initially entirely owned by the Government of India. However, as of 2019, it has been listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE), with the Government still holding the majority of the shares.

The Company operates via four key divisions: travel and tourism, packaged drinking water (Rail Neer), internet ticketing, and catering and hospitality. These divisions provide a wide range of goods and services that satisfy the needs and desires of millions of customers.

E-ticketing services- In order to increase the capacity of e-ticket booking, the IRCTC e-ticketing system was switched to the next generation e-ticketing system (N-GeT) in 2014 which enhanced the ticket booking capacity per minute by more than 3 times. The online ticketing system has undergone ongoing improvement for system security and increased capacity. The NGeT system can currently book tickets at a rate of more than 26000 per minute, with a record of 28434 tickets per minute on 12 November, 2022.

As of March 31, 2023, the e-ticketing system has more than 9.14 Crores active users who were registered to book reserved rail tickets online.

IRCTCs e-ticketing service was used to purchase 80.99 % of reserved tickets on Indian Railways during the FY 2022-23. The rest of the tickets were booked through the Railway employees-staffed passenger reservation system (PRS).

IRCTC Rail Connect app (mobile ticketing)- IRCTC introduced the IRCTC Rail Connect Mobile App for the Android Platform on the NGeT system in January 2017 to further establish its presence in the nations mobile internet.

A total of 20.42 crore tickets, or 47.36 % of all online tickets purchased, were booked in FY 2022-23 via IRCTC Rail Connect Mobile App for Android and iOS.

IRCTC payment system- On its website and app, IRCTC provides a number of alternatives for online payments, including net banking, credit and debit cards, wallets, cash cards, BHIM/ UPI, scan-and-pay, payon-delivery/pay-later, and others. Along with other numerous payment alternatives, foreign users can also purchase tickets online using international credit cards through dedicated gateways offered by Atom Technologies and ITZ Cash Card.

IRCTC i-Pay as Payment Gateway- IRCTC launched iPay to provide passengers with a more convenient and secure way to pay for railway tickets. With IRCTCs own payment gateway the iPay, passengers wont require any third-party platforms as it offers options including credit card, debit card, UPI, net banking, and iMudra wallet. This made it easy for passengers to pay for their tickets, regardless of their preferred payment method. iPay also offered a number of security features which helped to protect passengers personal and financial information. Also, iPay reduces payment failure rate and improves delays in processing the refunds. iPay payments are processed quickly and securely implying that passengers can book their tickets quickly and easily. i-Pay generated a revenue of Rs. 95.99 crores, in FY 2022-23.

Tatkal scheme for reserved tickets- For customers who make last-minute reservations, Ministry of Railways has a unique reservation programme called Tatkal. Under Tatkal scheme, a specific number of seats in each train are reserved one day before departure. The Tatkal fees were set at 10% of the second class basic fare and 30% of the basic fare for all other classes, subject to minimum and maximum rates. Subject to the distance restrictions that apply to the train, tatkal tickets are issued for the actual distance of travel rather than end-to-end. Up until the creation of the charts, the same Tatkal bunk or seat may be reserved on numerous journeys. Unused charts are given to passengers on the waiting list or the general RAC at the time of chart creation. By reserving 10% of the available space (5 seats each coach), tatkal service is also offered in the executive class of Shatabdi Express trains.Tatkal ticketing begins one day before the journeys actual departure datefrom the source station, omitting that day, at 10 AM for AC classes and 11 AM for non-AC classes.

The scheme is accessible on www.irctc.co.in and the IRCTC Rail Connect app, where users may conveniently book tickets under the Tatkal scheme.

VIKALP scheme- Travellers on waiting lists may select a maximum of five trains under this programme, regardless of a booking quota or concessions. It doesnt guarantee that a berth will be confirmed because it relies on whether there are seats available in the particular train. With regard to the Tatkal pricing, there is no refund or additional ticket charged for these changed trains. Either all passengers of a PNR opting for this scheme will be shifted to alternative trains of the same class or none will. Once a different train has been confirmed, the standard cancellation penalties apply. As chosen by the user, a passenger may be transferred to any train inside the window. Once the train list has been chosen using VIKALP, can be changed or updated only once.

IRCTC – SBI co-branded Credit Card and IRCTC BOB Co-Branded Credit Card on RuPay platform: IRCTC and SBI introduced a new co-branded contactless credit card on the RuPay platform of NPCI on July 28, 2020. The IRCTC SBI Credit Card on the NPCIs RuPay platform was created entirely indigenously by IRCTC & SBI Card which is in line with the Prime Ministers vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Digital India and works to increase self-reliance.

In collaboration with the Bank of Baroda, IRCTC also introduced the BOB Loyalty Cobranded Credit Card on the RuPay platform on February 21, 2022. The new co-branded credit cards on the Rupay platform provide frequent rail travellers maximum savings proposition on their journey together with special advantages on retail, dining, and entertainment as well as waivers of transaction fees.

As another step towards expanding IRCTCs Co-Branded Credit Card cum Loyalty Program, on 01st March 2023, IRCTC in collaboration with HDFC Bank launched a new Co-Branded Credit card on the indigenous RuPay platform, under the ambit of the existing Loyalty Program for rail users, known as the IRCTC HDFC Bank Credit Card. This is the third Co-Branded credit card Partner in series with whom IRCTC has entered into a collaboration to execute this program. This cobranded RuPay Credit Card has been curated to offer multiple benefits to frequent travelers.

BHIM/UPI payment mode- To encourage digital payments and further the Government of Indias aim of "Digital India," a reduced convenience fee is applied to users who purchase e-tickets online using the BHIM/UPI payment method.

Travel insurance- IRCTC introduced travel insurance for Indian residents who use the IRCTC website application to book their tickets. Passengers travelling on Indian Railways are covered for accidents under their travel insurance. The candidate or the passengers may seek compensation in the event of a collision between trains, a passenger train derailing, or any other type of train catastrophe. IRCTC charges only 35 paise for each passenger for the travel insurance, it provides to its customers. The insurance coverage is up to Rs. 10 lakhs and covers risks such train accidents that result in a passengers death or permanent disability as well as theft, looting, and other dangers. From the point of origin to the destination, the insurance is effective during the entire trip. Children under the age of five are not eligible for the insurance.

Total passengers opting for travel insurance was 33.75 Crores during the fiscal year. Premium collected for this service was Rs. 11.77 Crores.

Concessional bookings- Using ID cards given by the Indian Railways, journalists and Divyang (differently abled) passengers can use the special booking option to purchase tickets online through the IRCTC website and mobile apps.

Online booking for online pass holders- For railway employees, online reserved rail ticket purchasing using a railway pass has been enabled. For these reservations, convenience fees and travel insurance are not applicable..

Rail catering- In order to improve the quality of catering services and passengers on-board dining experiences, Indian Railways released a new catering policy in 2017. This policy has since been put into effect, and the entire mobile catering of trains has been transferred to IRCTC.

Vistadome train- The vistadome train was built to promote tourism through railway. The first Vistadome coach built by Indian Railways features a glass ceiling, LED lighting, a large observation window in the lounge, 360-degree rotating seats for better viewing, electronically operated automatic sliding doors, ceramic tiled toilets, a small pantry and service station, and a wide side door for physically challenged passengers to enter. It is currently operating in Andhra Pradeshs picturesque Araku Valley. Additionally, Vistadome coaches run between Mumbai and Goa.Vistadome coaches were also introduced in following trains: 18551- 52- VSKP - KRDL Express 16515-16- YPR - KAWR Express 16575-76- YPR - MAJN Express 16539-40- YPR - MAJN Express 16579-80- YPR - SMET Intercity Express 15887-88- BPB - GHY Tourist Express 15907-08- TSK - NHL Vistadome Express 15777-78- NJP - APDJ Tourist Express 12087-88- NHLN - GHY Shatabdi Express 12123-24- CSMT - Pune Deccan Queen 11007-08- CSMT- Pune Deccan Express 12051-52- CSMT- MAO Jan Shatbdi Express 12009-10- MMCT - ADI Shatabdi Express

Executive lounges- On a fee-for-service basis, the executive lounge at railway stations offers amenities including wash and change rooms, wireless internet, live TV, channel music, newspapers and book stands, buffet services, and concierge services for pre-departure and post-arrival support to the passengers. IRCTC currently manages executive lounges at New Delhi (Paharganj Side & Ajmeri Gate Side), Agra Cantt, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Madurai, Sealdah, and Varanasi.

As part of the development of executive lounges over Indian Railways during the FY 2022–23, IRCTC has awarded two more executive Lounges at Bhopal and Dwarka Railway Stations.

Core competencies

Ticketing and Reservation-IRCTC is the sole entityauthorised to sell online railway tickets. Hence it has developed robust ticketing and reservation systems that enables it to efficiently handle a large volume of bookings for train travel across India. Its online platform provides a convenient and user-friendly interface for customers to book tickets, check availability, and manage their travel itineraries.

Catering and Food Services- IRCTC is the only authorised entity responsible for providing catering and food services on Indian Railways trains. Hence, it has a strong network of food vendors and kitchens across different stations, ensuring the availability of hygienic and quality meals for passengers during their journey.

Tourism and Hospitality Services- IRCTC plays a significant role in promoting tourism in India by offering specialized tourism packages, luxury train tours, and exclusive travel experiences. It collaborates with state tourism corporations and operate luxury tourist trains such as Palace on Wheels, Maharajas Express, and Deccan Odyssey, providing travellers with a unique and memorable journey.Also, it is the only entity authorised to setup Executive Lounges at Railway Stations to provide traveling passengers with pre-departure and post arrival services.

Integrated Passenger Services- IRCTC focuses on enhancing the overall passenger experience by providing integrated services such as e-catering, retiring rooms, rail tour packages, and travel insurance. These services aim to meet the diverse needs of passengers and ensure a comfortable and convenient travel experience.

Technology and Digital Innovations- IRCTC continuously invests in technology and digital innovations to improve its services. It has implemented features like mobile applications, Wi-Fi services at stations, e-wallets for seamless payment transactions, and AI-based tools to enhance passenger services, including PNR prediction and real-time train information.

Customer Relationship Management- IRCTC emphasizes customer satisfaction and has established effective customer relationship management systems. It strives to address customer queries, feedback, and complaints promptly, ensuring a positive and responsive engagement with passengers. Also,IRCTC has a team of well-trained and experienced employees who are committed to providing excellent customer service.

Strong brand recognition- IRCTC is a well-known brand in India and enjoys a high level of customer trust. This is due to its long history of providing reliable and high-quality services to its customers.

Partnerships and Collaborations - IRCTC collaborates with various stakeholders, including state tourism corporations, hospitality providers, and other travel agencies, to expand its service offerings and provide comprehensive travel solutions. These partnerships enable IRCTC to leverage synergies and offer a wide range of options to customers.

Safety and Security Measures - IRCTC places a strong emphasis on passenger safety and security. It works closely with Indian Railways to implement safety measures, train evacuation plans, and maintain high standards of security across their services.

Financial Management and Revenue Generation- IRCTC effectively manages its financial operations, optimizing revenue generation through ticket sales, catering services, and other revenue streams. It employs efficient financial management practices to sustain its operations and support ongoing investments in infrastructure and services.

Challenges

Regulatory compliance- Any violation or changes of applicable laws may be detrimental to the Company. Adverse policy changes, such as those imposed by the Ministry of Railways on menu and pricing limits, may have a negative impact on the companys revenues.Compliance with regulatory requirements, government policies, and industry standards poses challenges for IRCTC. Adapting to changing regulations, ensuring adherence to safety protocols, and meeting the expectations of various regulatory bodies demand continuous monitoring and proactive measures.

Infrastructure and capacity Constraints- The existing infrastructure of Indian Railways faces limitations in terms of tracks, stations, and amenities.Managing the enormous volume of ticket bookings during peak demand time like travel seasons, festivals, and special events and passenger traffic on stationsare significant challenges.

Market Competition- IRCTC operates in a competitive travel and tourism market where online travel agencies (OTAs), hotel booking platforms, and other service providers vie for customers attention.

Financial Sustainability- Maintaining financial sustainability amid fluctuating market conditions, pricing pressures, and rising operational costs is a challenge for IRCTC. Balancing revenue generation, cost optimization, and investment in infrastructure upgrades and technology advancements requires efficient financial management.

Adapting to Changing Travel Trends- The travel industry is dynamic, with evolving travel preferences, emerging technologies, and shifting consumer behaviour.

Opportunities

Digital Transformation- The rapid growth of digital technologies presents an opportunity for IRCTC to enhance its online ticketing platform, mobile applications, and digital services. Embracing digital transformation can improve customer convenience, provide personalized experiences, and streamline operations.

Tourism Promotion- As a major player in the travel and tourism industry, IRCTC has the opportunity to collaborate with state tourism corporations and other stakeholders to promote tourism in India. By offering specialized tour packages, exploring new destinations, and leveraging its vast network, IRCTC can attract even more both domestic and international tourists.

Ancillary Services- IRCTC can expand its range of ancillary services such as onboard catering, e-catering, travel insurance, and hotel bookings. By partnering with local vendors, hotels, and service providers, IRCTC can offer comprehensive travel solutions and generate additional revenue streams.

Infrastructure Development- IRCTC can play a significant role in infrastructure development by investing in the modernization of railway stations, improving passenger amenities, and enhancing the overall travel experience. Upgrading stations with facilities like Wi-Fi, lounges, and retail spaces can attract more passengers and generate more revenue.

Technological Innovations- Embracing emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, and automation can revolutionize various aspects of IRCTCs operations. From predictive analytics for demand forecasting to AI-powered chat-bots for customer support, technological innovations can drive efficiency, enhance service quality, and improve decision-making.

Collaboration with Local Communities- IRCTC can collaborate with local communities, artisans, and entrepreneurs to promote local handicrafts, cultural experiences, and traditional cuisine on-board trains and at stations. This can provide a unique selling proposition, support local economies, and enrich the overall travel experience.

Sustainability Initiatives- As sustainability becomes a global priority, IRCTC can seize the opportunity to implement eco-friendly practices. This can include promoting energy-efficient operations, waste management, and reducing the carbon footprint of train journeys. Green initiatives can attract environmentally conscious travellers and contribute to sustainable tourism.

Customization and Personalization- By leveraging customer data and analytics, IRCTC can offer personalized travel experiences, customized itineraries, and targeted promotions. Tailoring services based on customer preferences can enhance customer loyalty, increase satisfaction, and drive repeat bookings.

Cross-Selling and Partnerships- IRCTC can explore cross-selling opportunities by partnering with complementary businesses such as airlines, car rental services, and tour operators. Bundling travel services and offering integrated packages can provide added convenience to travellers and expand IRCTCs market reach.

Initiatives by IRCTC

The business world is constantly changing with the latest trends and innovations quickly becoming obsolete in a short span of time. Taking new initiatives helpsthe company to stay ahead of the competition by setting the industry trends itself and maintaining a competitive edge instead of chasing the tail.

The following initiatives helped the company to improve its efficiency and productivity by streamlining processes, automating tasks, and using new technologies.

Internet Ticketing:

IRCTC took various initiatives to enhance its business and services under this segment. Some of the major initiatives for Rail connect mobile App (available on both Android and iOS) included:

i. introduction of Berth booking Facility for Infant child; ii. e-Wallet registration facility; iii. Enhanced and simplified user account recovery process;

iv. Quick quota selection option and easy filter modification for journey date change on Train List page provided to customers;

v. New UI Design for the Dashboard Page launched for customers;

vi. Refund of Travel insurance premium amount against cancellation of tickets,

vii. Proliferation of iPay Booking etc.

The other initiatives are detailed in the Directors Report under Internet Ticketing Segment.

Travel and Tourism

i. Bharat Gaurav Trains: With the change of policy issued by Railway Board, all tourist trains come under "Bharat Gaurav Policy". IRCTC with 2 rakes for operation of Bharat Gaurav trains already, requested for additional 8 rakes from across India. Presently, total 08 rakes are operational across India and operating Bharat Gaurav train tours. With the induction of these new rakes IRCTC will become the largest tourist train operator in the country by having 10 Bharat Gaurav rakes based at New Delhi (02 rakes), Gorakhpur, Howrah, Guwahati, Bilaspur, Secunderabad, Kochuveli, Mumbai & Indore with (01) rake each.

ii. State Special tours by Air: For the very first time, IRCTC operated State Special tours for elderly residents of state through Air. These air tours were organised for Rajasthan State Government ex- Jaipur to Kathmandu on regular basis and a total of 538 passengers were carried.

iii. Cultural exchange Tours: During the Financial Year, IRCTC operated "Kashi Tamil Sangamam" and "North East Yuva Sangam", cultural exchange tours under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat (EBSB) initiative of Central government.

iv. Shri Kedarnath Heliyatra Ticketing System: IRCTC has signed a MoU with UCADA (Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority) for providing Helicopter ticket booking system for passengers to visit Shri Kedarnath Dham.

v. Online Ticketing for National Rail Museum (NRM): Online Ticketing System of National Rail Museum (NRM), Chanakyapuri, New Delhi is being managed by IRCTC since 14th April, 2022 by facilitating visitors, who wish to book their online tickets in advance through website (www.nrmindia.org ) for visiting Museum, and for different Rides. Institutional Bookings by Schools & other Institutions are also enabled in the system.

vi. Logistic Business: IRCTC ventured into Cargo / Logistics Sector for offering transportation and supply chain management solutions to Government Organizations. Targeting both domestic and international freight business. IRCTC is awarded work by BSF, MoD Headquarter and Ordinance Factory Khamaria.

vii. Maharajas Express: Maharajas Express operates on four different itineraries out of which three itineraries are of 6 Nights/ 7 Days and one of 3 Nights/ 4 Days which cover places like Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, Khajuraho and Varanasi. The itineraries have been uploaded with departure dates on the website of the train www.the-maharajas.com. The train is operated during the tourist season Sept to April.

viii. Golden Chariot: Golden Chariot, the only luxury train being operated in South India by Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation was taken over by IRCTC for marketing, operations and maintenance. Three itineraries viz. Pride of Karnataka (5 Nights/6 Days), Jewels of South (5 Nights/6 Days) and Glimpses of Karnataka (3 Nights/4 Days) have been planned various destinations in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa.

ix. Buddhist Circuit Special Train: The new rake of Buddhist Circuit Train has International level features like Two Dining Cars, Vacuum Bio-toilets, Air Suspension springs, Security lockers, modified 2AC coaches with side seating facility, Onboard housekeeping and security, CCTV camera security, accidental insurance facility, Foot massager and Mini library, etc. The itineraries have been uploaded with departure dates on the website of the train www.irctcbuddhisttrain.com. x. Deluxe Tourist Train: For boosting domestic niche tourism, IRCTC is operating specialized packages like Shri Ramayana Yatra, Garvi Gujarat, North East Discover, etc. using the modified Bharat Gaurav rake used for operating Buddhist Special tourist train, during Buddhist lean season and free slots between Buddhist trips.

xi. State Tirth Special tours by train: IRCTC operates the state special tourist train tours in collaboration with various state governments. The government selects the beneficiaries of the tour package who are mostly senior citizens. These train tours cover various destinations of tourist and pilgrim importance across India.

xii. Rail Tour Packages: IRCTC offers comprehensive package with all inclusive services like confirmed onward and return rail journey, road transfers, accommodation, meals and sight-seeing at reasonable rates.

Catering

Mobile Catering:

i. Revision in Menu of Rajdhani/Shatabdi & Duronto & Mail/ Express Trains: In terms of CC-25 of 2022, IRCTC has introduced regional cuisines from different states which are popular have been generously incorporated in the menu of trains such as Dalma (Odisha), Set Dosai (Tamilnadu), Medur Vada (Karnataka), PalkattiChetinad (Tamilnadu), ChennaPoda (Odisha), Pyaz Kachori (Rajasthan), Kanda Poha (M.P), Vada Pav (Maharashtra), MachcherJhol (West Bengal), Thepla (Gujarat) etc.

Further to commemorate 2023 as "International Year of Millets", IRCTC has already introduced Millet based items such as Millet Kachori, Millet Ladoo, Millet Khichdi, Millet Dalia, Millet Biscuits etc. in the menu of trains.

For Mail/Express trains, IRCTC has introduced a list of 70 a-la-carte items permitted to sale onboard.

ii. Complete ban on use of plastic / PET containers for service of food items to the passengers.

Static Catering:

• As directed under the action plan for kitchen upgradation submitted to Railway Board, IRCTC has identified 50 locations for kitchens upgradation, in addition to existing 48 upgraded kitchens,. Out of these identified 50 Locations IRCTC has upgraded 15 kitchen units during FY-2022-23.

• The provision of QR code on meal packets resumed with resumption of operations of kitchen units/Base kitchens upon resumption of cooked food in trains. During the FY 2022-23, IRCTC has enabled QR code facility in 18 upgraded kitchens. Further, the remaining kitchens are also being covered progressively

CCTV Monitoring: In order to ensure monitoring of Kitchen Unit/Base Kitchens, IRCTC has resumed the monitoring of these units specially during operational hours through CCTV cameras. During the FY 2022-23, IRCTC has enabled live monitoring in 36 kitchens through CCTV cameras on IRCTC portal.the monitoring of CCTV footage is being done at the Monitoring Room at Corporate Office.

• Installation of POS for Centralized billing system has been taken up as pilot project. Initially, this project has been implemented for Food Plaza and Fast Food unit i.e one unit in each Zone.

Railneer

i. Storage of Rail Neer during winter season/lean period was done to meet the increased demand during peak summer season which reduced complaints of non availability of Rail Neer at static/mobile units.

ii. Tenders for purchase of raw materials and others have been started on GEM portal successfully.

iii. Digital Initiative: IRCTC has developed a Rail Neer App for billing and monitoring of Rail Neer distribution operations in plants. Rail Neer Carrying and Forwarding Agencies (CFAs) have been empowered to issue invoice through Rail Neer App to licensees, enabling live record and reconciliation of sale and supply of stock to trains and catering units. This has simplified the process of bill settlement in real time, rendering accurate results every time.

Business segment overview

Internet ticketing

Currently, IRCTC is the sole administrator and exclusively manages the Indian Railways online ticketing services. The Company runs one of the most heavily used and transacted websites in the Asia-Pacific area, with more than 359.42 million transactions per month and 6.12 million logins per day. On average, 11.82 lakh tickets per day were reserved online as of March 31, 2023, for more than 7706.40 lakh passengers using Indian Railways on a daily basis. This amounted to almost 80.99 % of all reserved tickets for Indian Railways.

NGeT system- The Next Generation E-Ticketing (NGeT) System superseded the e-Ticketing System on April 28, 2014, gradually increasing the capacity of minutely booked tickets. High capacity servers that have the ability to book more than 26,000 tickets per minute support the NGeT system. IRCTCs next-generation e-ticketing (NGeT) system interface has been made available with a host of user-friendly features. It provides a clutter-free experience with simpler site navigation, easier sign-in, and increased security. The Indian Railways IT division, the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), collaborated on the design and operation of the online ticketing system. The company has a robust customer database, which it can use to cross-sell goods and add value to existing ones in order to increase consumer engagement and generate top-line growth.

Internet Tickets booked through various channels during FY 2022-23 are as under:

# Particulars Tickets Booked in FY 2022-23 (in Lakhs) % of Total Booking
a E-Tickets booked by individual users on Mobile Phones (Rail Connect Android, IOS & Rail Saarthi) 2,042.47 47.36%
b Tickets booked by individual users through website (www.irctc.co.in) 860.44 19.95%
c Tickets booked by individual users (B2C) 863.05 20.01%
d Tickets booked by Retailer (B2B,ICS,RTSA,IATA,E-Gov.) 456.36 10.58%
e E-Tickets booked by Defence(CGDA)/CRPF/NDRF/ NSG /AR/BSF/CISF/ITBP 86.95 2.01%
f I-Tickets booked by Defence(CGDA)/CRPF/NDRF/ NSG /AR/BSF/CISF/ITBP 3.72 0.09%
Total Tickets Booked 4,313.00 100.00%

Packaged drinking water (Rail Neer)

The Company has an exclusive claim on the production and distribution of packaged drinking water in all Indian railway stations. The company markets its branded bottled water under the name Rail Neer. Modern facilities are used to process, purify, and bottle Rail Neer. IRCTC is known for its commitment to quality, and it plays a significant part in ensuring that all train customers and guests receive services and goods of the highest quality.

The company currently runs sixteen (16) "Rail Neer" plants in the following locations: Nangloi, Danapur, Palur, Ambernath, Amethi, Parassala, Bilaspur, Hapur, Sanand, Mandideep, Jagiroad, Nagpur, Maneri, Sankrail, Una and Bhusawal. It meets almost

70 % of the existing demand for packaged drinking water at railway facilities and on trains with an installed production capacity of 15.52 lakh litres per day. IRCTC has four new plants at Simhadri, Bhubaneswar, Vijayawada & Kota which are likely to be commissioned during FY 2023-24 & 2024-25.

Company has added one Rail Neer Plant at Bhusawal with a production capacity of 72,000 per day during last financial year.

Here are few highlights of Raineer segment for the financial year 2022-23:

(i) The production of Rail Neer has increased to 35.77 crores litres during FY 2022-23 which is all time high.

(ii) The Revenue generated from the Rail Neer segment has also increased to Rs. 315 cr. during the FY 2022-23.

(iii) The demand of Rail Neer is on increasing trend. Therefore, initiative for setting up of new Rail Neer Plants is being taken and one Rail Neer Plant has been commissioned at Bhusawal during FY 2022-23, while 04 plants at Simhadri, Bhubaneswar, Vijayawada & Kota, are under construction.

Travel and Tourism

IRCTC offers customized hotel and tourism packages to meet the needs of a diverse customer base. The company has lounges, hotels, and retiring rooms, all rated four stars and above, to provide maximum comfort and convenience. IRCTC also has partnerships with OYO rooms and other hotels to meet customer demand. With a diversified portfolio, IRCTC is planning to expand into other segments, such as helicopter travel, medical tourism, and others in the near future.

IRCTC has launched a new tourism initiative called the Bharat Gaurav series. This initiative will focus on running theme-based trains that will take passengers to different parts of India. IRCTC acquired 10 rakes for this initiative, and it plans to launch more than 150 train tours in a year. This is expected to generate an additional revenue of nearly Rs. 100 crores.

The Company also launched state special tours by Air for its customers. In addition to above, IRCTC operated "Kashi Tamil Sangamam" and "North East Yuva Sangam", cultural exchange tours under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat (EBSB) initiative of Central government. The Company also ventured into new areas of Helicopter booking for passengers to visit Shri Kedarnath Dham and Cargo / Logistics Sector for offering transportation and supply chain management solutions to Government Organizations.

The Comamny also launched state speail tours by Air for its customers. In addition to above, IRCTC operated "Kashi Tamil Sangamam" and "North East Yuva Sangam", cultural exchange tours under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat (EBSB) initiative of Central government. The Company also ventured into new areas of Helicopter booking for passengers to visit Shri Kedarnath Dham and Cargo / Logistics Sector for offering transportation and supply chain management solutions to Government Organizations.

Catering

Mobile catering

It is the provision of meals on trains. IRCTC offers mobile catering on Rajdhani, Shatabadi, Duronto, Gatiman, Tejas, and Vande Bharat trains, as well as on express trains with or without pantry cars. In trains without pantry cars, meals are served through train-side vending services. A network of base kitchens supports the supply of meals on mobile trains. As of March 31, 2023, IRCTC provided onboard catering services in 474 trains and through train-side vending (TSV) in 713 trains.

Static catering

Static catering is the provision of off-board catering services at stations. IRCTC offers static catering through Food Plazas, Fast food units, , Jan Ahaars, Refreshment rooms (at A1 and A Category Railway station), Base kitchens, and other facilities at station premises, including Executive lounges, Retiring room & Dormitories,BNR hotels and Rail Yatri Niwas. As of March 31, 2023, the company managed 57 Jan Ahaars, 182 Refreshment Rooms, 11 Base Kitchens, and 315 Food Plaza / Fast Food units.

IRCTCs catering services are provided in accordance with the Catering Policy 2017. The policy aims to ensure that passengers receive high-quality, hygienic, and affordable meals and beverages on trains and at stations.

Booking of e-Catering orders through WhatsApp

IRCTC has launched a WhatsApp for marketing of e-Catering. In next phase, IRCTC is planning to launch a chatbot/AI on whatsapp for booking of e-Catering orders. The service allows passengers to book food and beverages through WhatsApp. The service is expected to increase revenue for IRCTC and improve customer convenience. The Company is confident that WhatsApp booking will be a popular service with passengers.

Benefits of booking through WhatsApp:

• Convenience for passengers- Passengers can book food and beverages from the comfort of their seats.

• Easy to use- Passengers can send a WhatsApp message to the IRCTC number to place their order.

• Reliable- IRCTC has a strong track record of providing quality food and beverages on trains.

Risks and Concerns

Risk type Risk Definition Mitigation strategies
Regulatory Risk The Ministry of Railways policies and Indian Railways operations have a significant impact on the companys operations. Any policy modification or unfavourable Ministry of Railways choice could have a detrimental effect on IRCTCs earnings. As a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE), the company is permitted by the government to represent Indian Railways in offering a variety of goods and services to the public. It also occasionally receives operational support from the Ministry of Railways. IRCTC receives priority consideration for any railways related work because of the scope and size of its activities. As a result, the company benefits from the consistent flow of orders and contracts from the GoI, and its revenue sources remain diverse as a result of the breadth of its service offering.
Competition Risk The Company may lose its market exclusivity if the GoI or the Ministry of Railways opens the market to private companies. Strong competition could negatively affect the companys operations and profit margins. The IRCTCs seasoned management is highly capable to make positive strategic choices and steer the organisation towards successfully fending off competition from private competitors.
Labour Risk The company operates in a labour-intensive sector and uses contract workers to carry out certain obligations. Strikes by employees or demands for more pay and benefits could have a negative impact on the companys profitability. Additionally, shortage of personnel in the IT (Internet Ticketing and Air-Ticketing Business) sector, and the majority of these companies use an outsourcing model, which is problematic and requires evaluation. The company values its employees and considers them to be a key asset. It hasvarious policies in place to encourage, retain, and promote talented employees through regular performance evaluations. It also offers remuneration packages and opportunities for professional growth. To mitigate the risk of inadequate manpower, the company has also partnered with third-party contractors to provide human resources as needed. In order to remain competitive, the company needs to implement regular promotions at all levels according to the promotion calendar. It also needs to conduct fresh recruitments at various levels according to the extant policy, inducting fresh talent from the industry. This will help it to compete with market requirements.
IT Risk Security breaches can cause significant harm to the Company. Ensuring secured transactions over the internet are essential for the companys business operations. Hacking of customer data or cyber threats can result in a massive loss of revenue and significantly damage the companys brand image. The company depends on cutting-edge technologies to guarantee the Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability of all of its online services and that its data is sufficiently protected from current cyber security threats. The company successfully defends the system from dangerous viruses and other online dangers by using cutting-edge security measures to protect its data. Through external information security audit organisations that have been appointed by CERT-In, regular information security audits are carried out.
Technology Risk Since almost [] tickets are bought through its website every minute, any technical issue, disruption, or system failure could result in a loss of revenue. It is likely to have an impact on the Companys brand reputation and could lead to fewer revenues. The Company depends on cutting-edge technology to keep its systems running efficiently and its next generation, e-ticketing website has can handle heavy traffic due to its superior capacity. The Company also has back-up systems and business continuity plans to ensure seamless operations and services across its business processes.
Product quality Risk The catering and food service must follow the government-mandated quality requirements. Any unfavourable allegations, media rumours, or other public statements on the quality of the food and services could significantly and negatively influence the companys reputation and brand, as well as its capacity to effectively run business operations. The Company has quality control checks in place to ensure service of hygienic and quality food. The Company also has a team of trained food safety professionals who monitor the food preparation and service process to ensure that all food safety and quality standards are met. As a result, the ministry has approved the service of cooked food.
Hygiene Risk Over time, a sizable number of complaints about unauthorised vending are received. Additionally, since the units are situated on platforms and the trains are travelling across the country, sanitation at catering units, especially pantry carriages, is a significant concern. 1. Awareness raising efforts and continuous surveillance are carried out to stop illegal vending. 2. Regular audits for food safety are conducted along with sanitization training. Kitchens are also getting CCTVs installed. Railways will also be urged to help with maintaining cleanliness and hygienic conditions on the trains and platforms, which will support the IRCTCs efforts in this area.
Strategic and Business Risks The Companys business and its revenues are substantially dependent on the policies of the Ministry of Railways and operations of Indian Railways. Any unilateral policy change or any adverse decision may affect the revenue of the Company by losing out business of the company. As a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE), the company is authorized by the Government to offer various products and services to the public on behalf of Indian Railways, as well as receive operative support from the Ministry of Railways from time to time. Any work related to railways is offered to IRCTC on a priority basis due to its reach and scale of operations. Therefore, regular supply of orders and contracts from GoI has a positive impact on the company and its revenue streams remain diversified owing to its extensive service portfolio.
Reputation Risk Response during the Public Relation Crisis / Media Crisis or during Negative Press Publicity related to Investment outcomes or company growth strategies etc. IRCTC has a robust and efficient PR department, efficient to handle all Media / Public Relation Crisis. The Social Media Cell consists of well trained and efficient staff to handle any such crisis situation. PR department issues regular press release to counter any misinformation or propogate any new advances pertaining to the Organizations Business Strategy. IRCTC remains directly involved with public at large.
Business Continuity Risk The E-Ticketing system of IRCTC is currently hosted in a single Data Center at CRIS (Primary DC) in New Delhi. Presently, there is no Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DR) site for the System. Considering the fact that around 80% of Train reservations are done online through system, in case of major failure or disaster at Primary Data Center and non-availability of Business Continuity Planning (BCP), poses a very high risk, not only for IRCTC but for Indian Railways also, as most of the passengers will not be able to book/ cancel their tickets and file online TDRs. Disaster Recovery (DR) solution is being planned for NGeT system. Presently, the Disaster Recovery strategy and solution is being under discussion with CRIS. This will be finalized in consideration with ongoing project of PRS Modernization of India Railways.
Catering Operations Risk 1. Frequent changes in Catering Policy by Ministry of Railways. 2. Considerable number of complaints is being received over a period of time regarding unauthorized vending. 3. Furthermore, hygiene at catering units including pantry cars is a big challenge as the units are located on platforms and the trains are moving across the country. 4. Non-working of pantry car equipments as well as mini-pantry car equipments (Threat of food contamination) 1. Ministry has been requested to allow reasonable time for policies to be implemented. 2. Awareness campaigns about the rate and menu items, through social and print media & regular monitoring are being undertaken to curb the menace of unauthorized vending. Railway has also been requested for assistance by law enforcing agencies. 3. Hospitality supervisor are being hired for monitoring of mobile units. Training is being imparted along with regular audits for food safety. CCTVs are also being installed at kitchens. Third party audit is being to acces hygene and standard of these units. 4. Status of non-working equipments are regularly being advised to Railways to ensure to ensure availability of essential equipments in all the mini pantry cars/pantry car and timely maintenance of all equipments
Rail Neer Operations Risk Unavailability of raw water may lead to non- operation of Railneer Plant. Moreover, extra storage space is not available during the time of extra production or low supply and the same may lead to production loss. 1. Alternate source of water are being identified and the problem is countered on requirement basis. 2. Optimization of storage space is being practised based on peak and non peak sales period. 3. Plant Maintenance is planned looking into the position of storage space and availability of inventories, thus avoiding production loss.

Future outlook- chugging ahead

The Companys Vision and Mission are as follows

Vision "To be the leading provider of high quality travel, tourism and hospitality-related services, for a range of customer segments, with consistently high level of customer satisfaction".

Mission "IRCTC will establish itself as a leader in the area(s) of hospitality services, Travel and Tourism, packaged drinking water, and Internet Ticketing by providing value-added products and services for passengers, tourists and other customers, targeting IR and Non-IR related services alike, building a resilient business portfolio that is scaleable and based on core competencies".

The Indian railway industry is poised for growth in the coming years. The increased governments investments in modernizing the railways and the growing middle class in India is expected to cause an increased demand for railway and, travel and tourism services.

IRCTC is well-positioned to capitalize on the growth of the Indian railway industry. The company is the leading player in the railway catering and internet ticketing segments. In addition, business segments such as travel and tourism and packaged drinking water are expected to contribute significantly to the companys growth in the coming years. IRCTC is focused on providing value-added products and services to its customers. The company is constantly innovating to improve the customer experience through technology driven solutions and services.

Future Strategies to meet the Challenges

In the ever-evolving landscape of its business segments, IRCTC foresees a range of challenges that may lie ahead. However, the organization has diligently formulated and implemented effective strategies to counter these challenges and navigate the path to success. By innovating and staying ahead of market trends, IRCTC is well-prepared to tackle potential obstacles and ensure continued growth and profitability in its diverse operations. With a keen focus on innovation, customer satisfaction, and operational excellence, IRCTC is poised to overcome challenges and maintain its position as a leading player in the industry.

IRCTC with its optimistic outlook has planned to bring into its system some new projects which not only promise to promote IRCTC Brand name but also proves the companys expertise and adaptability to latest innovative technologies in vogue in the market place. At the same time, it is also anticipated to create new businesses and thereby generate additional revenues for the company. Not only widening its business arena, IRCTC, ITC will be using innovative technologies in vogue, for system improvement.

The future strategies for all the business segments have been mentioned under the operational performance of Directors‘ Report in detail.

Internal control systems – process excellence

Process excellence internal controls are systematic and procedural steps adopted by an organisation to mitigate risks, primarily in the areas of financial accounting and reporting, and operational processing are in compliance with laws and regulations.

Internal Controls (ICs) are essentially risk mitigation steps taken to strengthen the organisations systems and processes, as well as help to prevent and detect errors and irregularities. The actual steps of mitigation (review, approval, physical count, segregation of duty) are referred to as ‘control activities.

The Company has engaged an independent external firm, comprising Chartered Accountants, as Internal Auditor. The internal audit assignments are carried out on a half-yearly basis. The Internal Audit team carries out extensive audits throughout

the year covering each and every aspect of the business. The

Company has also hired another firm of Chartered Accountants

to issue the Independent Auditors Report on the Internal

Financial Controls over Financial Reporting for the Company

under Clause (i) of sub-section 3 of Section 143 of the Companies

Act, 2013.

The report issued thereupon has been attached along with the

Standalone Financial Statements. The Audit Committee reviews

the internal control systems with the Internal Auditor and

Statutory Auditor before the Financial Statements are placed

before it for recommending to the Board for approval.

Discussion on financial performance with respect

to operational performance financial highlights

Total revenue increased from Rs. 1954.48 Crores in FY 2021-22

to Rs. 3661.90 Crores in FY 2022-23. Profit before tax increased

by 52.93 % from Rs. 885.38 Crores in financial year 2021-22 to

Rs. 1354.01 Crores in FY 2022-23. The profit after tax increased by

52.51 % from Rs. 659.55 Crores in FY 2021-22 to Rs. 1005.88 Crores

in FY 2022-23.

The performance of major financial parameters during FY 2022-23 and FY 2021-22 are given below:

Amount (Rs. in crores)

Particulars F.Y. 2022-23 F.Y. 2021-22 Change (%)
Revenue from operations 3541.47 1878.57 88.52
Profit before interest, depreciation, exceptional items and tax 1396.65 949.42 47.11
(EBIDTA)
Less: Interest and Finance Charges 16.11 11.05 45.79
Less: Depreciation 53.73 48.99 9.68
Profit before tax (PBT) before exceptional items 1326.81 889.38 49.18
Exceptional items : Loss(-)/Gain(+) 27.20 -4.01 67930.42
Profit before tax (PBT) after exceptional items 1354.01 885.38 52.93
Less: Provision for taxation 348.13 225.82 54.16
Profit after tax (PAT) 1005.88 659.55 52.51
Dividend (as a % of Equity share capital) on cash basis 250 150 100
Final dividend – on cash basis (as a % of Equity share capital) 100 75 25
Net-worth 2478.40 1870.31 32.51
Earnings Per Share (Rs.) 12.57 8.24 52.55

Segment-wise performance

Amount (Rs. in crores)

F.Y. 2022-23 F.Y. 2021-22 Change (%)
Segmental Operative Revenue
Catering 1476.49 498.38 196.26
Railneer 300.97 172.31 74.67
Internet Ticketing 1198.03 1020.00 17.45
Tourism 412.21 157.57 161.60
State Teertha 153.78 30.31 407.36
Segmental Profit
Catering 168.01 23.88 603.56
Railneer 36.44 -15.34 337.55
Internet Ticketing 1020.93 864.72 18.06
Tourism 16.45 -46.19 135.61
State Teertha 28.79 4.08 605.64

Analysis of financial ratios

Details of significant changes (i.e. change of 25% or more as compared to the FY 2021-22) in key financial ratios, along with detailed explanations thereof are as follows:

Amount (Rs. in crores)

Particulars F.Y. 2022-23 F.Y. 2021-22 Change (%) Remarks
Debtors Turnover (No. of Days) 117.79 111.04 6.08 --
Inventory Turnover (No. of Days) 4.46 5.65 -21.06 --
Interest Coverage Ratio 38.54 27.60 39.64
Current Ratio 1.82 1.88 -3.19 --
Debt Equity Ratio * 0.03 0.06 -50.00 Ratio decreased
due to increase
in Shareholders
equity and
reduction in
debt.
EBIDTA Margin (%) 38.14 48.58 -21.49 --
Net Profit Margin (%) 28.40 35.11 -19.11 --
Return on Net Worth 0.46 0.40 15.00 --

*Debt represents only Lease Liabilities

Material development in human resources – Asset watch

The exceptional performance and enduring success of the company can be attributed to its dedicated workforce, who serve as the driving force behind its achievements. In line with the companys core values, an inclusive approach is adopted to ensure employees active participation in the management process, fostering an environment of mutual respect, trust, and collaborative growth.

Throughout the year, communication meetings and workshops were organized at different levels, including zones, regions, and the corporate office, allowing for fruitful exchanges of ideas and knowledge. The synergy between employees and management is evident as they worked harmoniously to advance the interests of the company and its stakeholders, fostering a cordial and supportive employee relationship.

Recognizing the value of talent retention, the companys human resource department diligently designs and implements various policies, procedures, and programs aimed at nurturing and enhancing the knowledge, skills, creativity, aptitude, and overall talent of its workforce.

For skill building and capability development amongst its employees, the emphasis is placed on providing comprehensive training. The Company aims to equip its employees with the necessary skills to overcome challenges and adapt to new roles and responsibilities. Moreover, the company encourages employees in mid-level and senior managerial positions to pursue further education through prestigious institutes fostering continuous professional development and growth.

Some of the important HR initiatives in the last FY 2022-23:

• Empowering Employees through Knowledge

• Employee charter for all the HR related process

• Development of In house HRMS

• Development and implementation of in house PMS system

68 Number of training programs
1285 No. of staff trained During FY 2022-23
8529 Man days

Disclaimer

There may be some forward-looking statements in the MDA section about potential future developments. These statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could materially affect final results. Macro-environmental changes may pose unanticipated, unexpected, unknowable, and ever-evolving risk(s) to the company and the environment in which it operates. The conclusions of these assumptions, which are based on information that is both internal and externally available, constitute the basis for some of the facts and numbers in the study. The estimations on which these assumptions are based are similarly

For and on behalf of Board of Directors

(Seema Kumar)
Place: New Delhi Chairperson & Managing Director
Date: 04.07.2023 DIN: 10064353