Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the Indian railways. It is headquartered in New Delhi, India. The major products under IRCTC are e-ticketing and offline booking of services. Here is the SWOT Analysis of IRCTC.
Strengths in the SWOT analysis of IRCTC :
1) Complete government support – This subsidiary of Indian Railways has complete back up of government in terms of infrastructure and funds. Government support always acts as a strength for any organization since they are able to take bold decisions.
2) Monopoly in rail tours and ticketing – Since there is no privatization in the railways in India. They enjoy a monopoly in designing the rail tours and selling at profitable rates.
3) Availability of charter booking – Not only the option of charter booking is available, IRCTC also provides the discounts on such bookings.
4) No competitors in online booking – There is no competition in online booking of tickets and services. Yes, there are certain aggregator websites available but the final booking happens through IRCTC only.
5) The only player for catering in railways – In this segment as well, there is no competition as such which establishes their monopoly.
6) Have been successful in establishing faith and good will even after being monopolistic – The provided services are available at best prices even when there is no competition. This has established faith and goodwill among people for IRCTC.
Weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of IRCTC :
1) Poor promotional activities – The promotional activities are done by IRCTC does not look very attractive as such. They need to be better in their brand management to attract the next-gen customers as well.
2) The high rate of failed transactions – This has always been a problem for IRCTC. Whenever there is high traffic on the website, the rate of failed transactions starts to increase drastically for e.g. during tatkal bookings.
3) Poor customer services – Another area to look for, customer service is not as good as it should be. The attitude of customer care executives speaks a lot about the kind of service they want to provide. IRCTC definitely to take some serious actions in this aspect.
4) Slow Implementation of decisions – Even if some decisions are made, the implementation has always been slow in a huge organization like IRCTC. This becomes a major concern in a service industry where people look for best services every time.
5) Quality of service is way below private operators – The different services that IRCTC provides have a lot of scope for improvements. Railway department is not privatized yet but if we see similar tourism services which are provided by private operators, they are of better quality then what IRCTC provides.
Opportunities in the SWOT analysis of IRCTC :
1) Increase in the disposable incomes of people – The continuous increase in people’s disposable incomes gives an opportunity in terms of launching new and better services as people will definitely be interested in exploring such options if given.
2) Booming travel industry – The overall travel industry is on a boom these days, again, an opportunity for IRCTC to widen its feathers to cover as many opportunities as possible.
3) Indian market is huge – They have a huge market like India at their disposal where multiple segments are available to be targeted. They can easily tap this opportunity to provide customized services that services that match a different set of customers.
4) There is no competition for IRCTC – The kind of competition-free environment that IRCTC enjoys gives it unlimited opportunities of providing best-customized services to its customers.
Threats in the SWOT analysis of IRCTC :
1) Privatization – If railways choose to privatize these services then it will be the biggest threat for IRCTC as we all know the scope of improvement in the current services and private operators won’t leave any stone unturned to make use of everything.
2) No support of government – Another threat is the situation if the government pulls back its support. Since IRCTC is highly dependent on ministry for various activities, this can prove to be a fatal situation for them.
3) Substitute services like low fare airlines – The constant increase in rail fare and availability of low-cost airlines make it a lingering threat for IRCTC to lose some customer base.
4) Terrorist Attacks – There have been a lot of incidents in the past when railways became the target of terrorists. These external factors are always a problem which needs a long-term permanent solution.
5) Non-functioning of trains in winters especially in the north and east India – Winters are a nightmare for the functioning of railways in some parts of India. They become a huge interruption in the services of railways. While there is not much that can be done on this yet a better planning can give some respite from this problem.