In March 2015, the online services portal of Indian Railways – irctc.co.in had announced its alliance with Amazon India for selling items such as consumer electronics, books, and apparels.
The Shop on Amazon tab on the IRCTC website redirects the user to Amazon’s homepage, A K Manocha, chairman and managing director of IRCTC told FE.
The government-owned platform with registered user base of 4.25 crore as on March 2016, can garner better visibility for Amazon, especially from smaller towns and cities.
Amazon was in stiff competition with e-retailer Flipkart when it was awarded the contract in March 2015. Officials at IRCTC said the contract with Amazon will expire in June and it may renew its contract with Amazon or get a new partner on-board.
Payments options through IRCTC’s e-wallets will also to available to users in the later stages, Manocha said. “From the registration charge of Rs250 for the wallet, I have approved reduction to R50 and in the next few months we plan to take it to zero,” he added.
IRCTC has roped in Ernst & Young to complete the valuation process of the company which will be closed by June-end, according to Manocha. After the valuation, the company will be exploring avenues in business development and website monetisation, but this will only happen in the later stages, he added.
In 2013, IRCTC has tied up with Yebhi.com but the contract was withdrawn following complaints related to quality of the items sold by Yebhi. With Amazon on board IRCTC is earning revenue through a fixed annual fee and lead generation model.