What is IRCTC? How is it different from Indian Railways?
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), is a subsidiary of the Indian Railway responsible for online booking of train tickets. It is an extended arm of the Indian Railways to upgrade, professionalize and manage the catering and hospitality services at stations, on trains and other locations and to promote domestic and international tourism. Some of the works done by IRCTC include setting up of Food Plazas on Railway premises, Railneer & internet ticketing.
What is the role of Trainman?
Trainman is a one stop shop for all information regarding Indian Railways. It complements IRCTC by providing intelligent features like PNR Status Prediction, checking seat availability for all dates in one view, predicting train delay, checking latest train schedule, live train status and choosing best possible train for a journey. One can also check out some really handy tips and tricks which makes train travelling easier. It is the most preferred railway site for train info owing to its high accuracy and user-friendliness. It also has very high rated apps for android playstore and apple app store.
Trainman was started by Vineet Kumar Chirania in 2014.He hails from a small town in Bihar called Naugachia which lies in Bhagalpur district.He did his graduation in Computer Science from IIT Roorkee.He is a technology and startup enthusiast. He loves to play table tennis and watch hollywood movies and series. He is also an avid reader and read mostly motivational and startup related books.
The USP of Trainman is confirmation prediction for waitlist train ticket. This was a big problem faced by people travelling by Railways. They themselves faced this issue. That’s why decided to build something to solve this problem.
He started Trainman with his friend Amir and launched site within six months of starting the development. They spent around 1 lakh rupees initially. Vineet says “Hobby to Product transition was easy. I was already into tech. I just needed to hone my technological skills more. It did not take much time and effort to launch Trainman, the product. But the transition from product to business was really challenging.I needed to earn money from it and make it self-sustainable. For this I had to wear multiple hats.I had to play role of technology guy, marketing guy, business guy, revenue guy and accounts guy. I had to learn things on the fly“.
“The other challenge was to compete with deep pockets, the funded startups who could spend insane amount of money on marketing. It was really challenging for bootstrapped startup like us to stay in race with them. Just sticking to the core offering, improving the product day by day and listening to customers’ feedbacks paved way to success for us. Our product is much more loved and higher rated than our competitors and we are able to stay ahead in the race with minimal marketing spend” added Vineet.
They launched website and app while working part time when they already had full time jobs. This gave them enough time to test product on live users without worrying about money. When they had decent traction on site and app and a plan to monetize product, then they decided to leave jobs and pursue this full time. This strategy helped them sustain without any external funding. As they say successful entrepreneurs are not risk takers but risk averse! By God’s grace and their hard work they are now a profitable company.
“We are constantly reading tech blogs to know what latest is happening in technology. This way we are abreast with latest tech developments. Also we constantly keep doing some or the other online courses to bridge the technology gap.We have built a good working culture at Trainman. There are no timing restrictions as long as the employees keep doing their work on time. We take care that personal growth of employees is aligned to company growth. Also everyone is encouraged to keep reading new stuffs and keep doing experimentations. After every successful launches we have a shipping party” says Vineet.
Trainman is a customer centric company. Customer is king for them. Listening to customer feedback is one of the most important things the one should do.Infact Vineet feels that no company who ignores customer feedback can ever be successful. They are a customer-obsessed company.
Expansion plan of Trainman has evolved as a train companion for users. Users come to Trainman to access train information i.e. they consume the information.They have been selected under Made for India app 2017 by Google and also selected under Facebook FBStart accelerate track in 2017. Vineet’s ultimately wish is to see Trainman app installed in every Indian’s mobile phone.
Click here to visit Trainman