Detailed SWOT Analysis of IRCTC – The Ownership Of Indian Railways

Updated on: Mar 14, 2022

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In our previous article, we elaborated on the SWOT Analysis of a multibillion-dollar American company, 3M company. This time, we will tackle the SWOT analysis of IRCTC in-depth.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is owned by Indian Railways, the Department of Railways of the Government of India and provides ticketing, catering and tourism services on trains and at railway stations. It has been listed on the National Stock Exchange since 2019, with the government retaining a majority stake.

The aim of the IRCTC is to improve and develop customer service and facilitation through better industry techniques in the railway catering, travel, hotel and tourism sectors.

Another aspect that made IRCTC the giant it is now is its marketing efforts. Due to Covid, the world is going online, marketing is changing and if you are interested in learning about the latest – check out our Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by the CEO and Founder of IIDE, Karan Shah.

In this blog, we will cover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of IRCTC. Before we begin, let us learn more about the company, its history, products, services and financial success.

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SWOT Analysis of IRCTC - IRCTC

The Indian Railways Tourism and Catering Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) is a public sector company under the Ministry of Railways. It was established on 27th September 1999 as an enlarged branch of Indian Railways to improve, professionalise and manage restaurant and hotel services at stations, trains and other places. Establishing domestic and international tourism by developing special budget hotels to promote travel packages, information and commercial advertising and a global reservation system.

IRCTC’s vision is to be the leading provider of quality travel, tourism and hospitality services to a variety of customer segments with consistently high levels of customer satisfaction. The total number of IRCTC records is approximately 9 million. The head office and registered office are located in New Delhi.

Quick Stats on IRCTC
Founder Indian Railways
Year Founded 1999
Origin New Delhi, India
No. of Employees 1.254 Million
Company Type Public
Market Cap Rs 60,648 Crore (2022)
Annual Revenue Rs 2,353.53 Crore (2020)
Net Income/ Profit Rs 528.57 Crore (2020)


SWOT Analysis of IRCTC - irctc new

Services by IRCTC

Services provided by IRCTC are 

  • Catering & Hospitality
  • Internet Ticketing
  • Travel & Tourism
  • Packaged Drinking Water
  • Tatkal Scheme
  • Train Operations

Competitors of IRCTC

IRCTC has many competitors in the stock market, few competitors in market are: 

  • Yatra Chef
  • Travel Zaika
  • TCI Express
  • NIIT

Now that we have understood the company’s core products and services, let’s dive deep into the SWOT analysis of IRCTC.

SWOT Analysis of IRCTC

SWOT analysis is a study which is undertaken by the majority of companies to determine their core strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is a framework that is used to evaluate a company’s competitive position which later helps in strategic planning. 

SWOT analysis can be conducted by any popular brand or any brand which is still new in the market can make use of this template to evaluate internal and external variables that might influence the brand authority and market development.

SWOT Analysis of IRCTC - SWOT Infographics of IRCTC

Below is a step-by-step detailed guide to help you with the SWOT analysis of IRCTC.

Strengths of IRCTC

The strengths are basically what makes the brand different from the other competitors and what the organisation excels at. Following are the strengths:

  • Reach & Distribution: IRCTC has customers globally and provides its services to millions of members. This makes sure that the services are made easily available to their customers at the right time.
  • Government Support: The government of India retains a major stake in IRCTC and receives full support in terms of infrastructure and funds. Government works as one of the biggest strengths of IRCTC and helps make bold decisions within the organisation.
  • Monopoly of Train Travel & Ticketing: IRCTC enjoys a profitable business in providing ticketing, catering, and tourism services because there is no privatisation in railways in India.
  • Online Ticketing: IRCTC has pioneered internet-based rail ticket booking through its website, as well as from mobile phones. However, there are several aggregator websites for online ticket booking but somehow the customers prefer booking direct from IRCTC due to the facility of additional cost-cutting, which is charged if booked from aggregator’s platform.
  • Catering & Hospitality: Again, IRCTC has a monopoly in catering and hospitality at Indian Railways. IRCTC operates several food plazas, Jan Ahaar cafeterias and refreshment rooms at various railway stations. Also, IRCTC has a facility to order food online and get it delivered to your seats.
  • Stable Monopolistic Reputation: IRCTC provides services at the best prices even when there is no competition. This has established the faith and goodwill of IRCTC among people.
  • Milestones: IRCTC system is evolving rapidly according to advancement in technology. In 2019, IRCTC had launched a payment wallet named iMudra, to provide an easy way to book railway tickets, pay, send or withdraw money which was the biggest milestone in the Indian railway sector.

Weaknesses of IRCTC

The weaknesses are a major drawback that stops the organisation from performing at its optimum level. They are the areas in which businesses can make improvements. The major drawbacks are as follows:

  • IRCTC Website: The website is kind of frustrating for the customers because the user has to login again and again to book a ticket and sometimes the website is not supportive and user friendly. 
  • Food Quality: However, the food served by IRCTC is hygienic but the quality that means the taste of food is as such not up to the mark and it is usually served cold which is likely disappointing for a passenger who is in a journey of long hours.
  • Promotional Activities: The promotional activities carried out by the IRCTC do not seem very attractive as such. They need to improve their brand management to attract the next generation of customers.
  • Need to Invest More in New Technologies: According to the country’s scale of expansion and the geographical areas IRCTC needs to invest more money in technology to integrate the processes across the board. Currently, the investment in technology is not on par as per the vision of the company.
  • Failed Transactions: Whenever there is a high traffic on the IRCTC website it usually increases the rate of failed transactions significantly, e.g. at the time of Tatkal booking.
  • Poor Customer Support: Due to the monopoly of IRCTC, the customer support quality is something which is not looked after by the IRCTC team. The attitude of customer executives while solving queries of customers says a lot about IRCTC’s customer support quality. IRCTC should certainly take serious action in this regard.
  • Slow Decision Making: Organisational decisions are made at IRCTC but when it comes to implementation, the organisation has always been slow and this is becoming a major concern in a service industry where people are looking for the best services at all times.
  • Private Operators Getting Better: Various services offered by IRCTC still contain major room for improvement. On the other hand, private operators are providing quality services than those offered by IRCTC, and these operators are getting better and stronger day by day.

Opportunities for IRCTC

Opportunities are the favourable external factors that may give the organisation a competitive advantage over others. The opportunities of IRCTC are as follows:

  • Population: The population has been growing and is expected to grow at a positive rate for the upcoming years. This is beneficial for India as there will be an increase in the number of potential customers that it can target.
  • Increase Disposable Income: Many brands have understood that Gen Z forms 30% of the world’s population and in time will be the generation with the most disposable income. Hence, sending out messages targeting them is extremely important, especially for brands targeting young audiences.
  • Booming Travel Industry: The travel industry as a whole is booming again these days, an opportunity for the IRCTC to spread its feathers to cover as many opportunities as possible.
  • Huge Market: You have a huge market at your disposal, like India, where there are multiple segments available for targeting. You can easily take advantage of this opportunity to offer personalised services tailored to a different group of customers.
  • No Competition: IRCTC enjoys unlimited opportunities and offers its clients the most personalised services due to the non-competitive market.
  • Strategic Connections: You can also think of establishing strategic connections with private operators to improve service performance to the required level.

Threats to IRCTC

Threats are those factors that have the potential to provide harm to the organisation in any form. The threats of IRCTC are as follows:

  • Technological Advancements: The technological advancements by a few competitors can pose a threat to IRCTC as today’s customers are more attracted towards new technological advancements and may be lost to competitors’ offerings thus reducing the market share of IRCTC.
  • Privatisation: If the railways decide to privatise their services, this will be the biggest threat to the IRCTC. There is a vast improvement in current services of private operators and they are leaving no stone unturned to take advantage of everything.
  • If Government WIthdraw: IRCTC is made by the Indian Railways and the government of India. So if by chance the country body withdraws its support to IRCTC and transfers the Indian Railways catering and hospitality handling to some private contractor at a cheaper rate will create a fatal situation for the IRCTC organisation as a whole.
  • Airlines as Substitute: The continuing rise in rail fares due to Covid-19 and the availability of low-cost private airlines is a rising threat for IRCTC where the passenger’s bookings would be less and so the customers who were consuming IRCTC services will decrease.

This ends our complete SWOT analysis of IRCTC. Let us conclude our learning below.

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To Conclude

IRCTC is a well-known company with a significant global presence. In the SWOT analysis of IRCTC, we observed that the company is heavily reliant and enjoys strong brand recognition and trust with its customers. It has a strong distribution network and has reached across all the markets it serves, but suffers from an increasing number of suppliers in the same space and better R&D efforts by its competitors.

Also, one point not to miss out on is that IRCTC is in line with its marketing effort. It has created a customer base for itself by tapping into the digital era and creating a social media presence on several platforms. If you are interested in learning digital marketing, don’t forget to check out IIDE’s 3 Month Advanced Digital Marketing Course.

We hope this blog on the SWOT Analysis of IRCTC has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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