Like others, this is one of the questions that came to my mind when I first heard plan of introducing IRCTC Shopping website. The next question was why IRCTC would invest into a venture which is already overcrowded with private players, probably more lean & strong to challenge a semi-government organization like IRCTC? Why IRCTC would jump to band wagon of competitive private e-commerce and not focus on its monopoly business of train ticket booking?
The fact that IRCTC has monopoly on train ticket booking creates a large online customer base for any e-commerce player to leverage it for additional monetary benefits. But what surprised me was the selection of ‘Yebhi.com’, not so successful venture in e-commerce space. I am no expert in e-commerce domain, but on personal experience, IRCTC did not do the best vendor selection. However important point for Yebhi.com (vendor who is providing entire catalog, shop product, shopping platform and back-end services to IRCTC) would be maximum marketing of its brand in this IRCTC venture. Yebhi.com might get a jump-start (considering on its own it is not as famous as its peers) from joining hands with IRCTC but would not build its brand value in this one or three years of contract & ultimately going to lose, unless they sustain this relationship over long period with IRCTC (which looks difficult if this venture succeeds.)
On other hand IRCTC, instead of venturing into different domains like air tickets, shop & holidays, should have focused to its core strength of train ticket booking & should have used its monopoly to create better customer service in that area so that monopoly is not challenged in future. Alias, I am not their strategy consultant, but I believe, moving out of your core advantageous positions to known downward market is not at all a good path to walk on. Yes, obviously IRCTC is going to have short-term monetary benefits, but would be definitely at cost of its brand value & customer satisfaction (which is already low considering its ticketing platform is under tremendous burden of public dissatisfaction), but I guess in monopoly business these factors are like pawn in game of chess.
Going ahead, it would be interesting to track this half-cooked venture of IRCTC & Yebhi.com.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are personal views and is not intended to cause any derogatory remarks/ statements to any institution/company or individual.
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