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IRCTC & OYO Rooms partnership to offer room booking to passengers

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The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has tied up with OYO Rooms to launch an IRCTC hotel-booking page on OYO Rooms, offering its inventory to train travellers. Note that IRCTC’s website continues to list various budget hotel, retiring rooms, lounges etc., but has added a button for IRCTC OYO Rooms.

Clicking on the button on IRCTC, redirects to OYO Room’s page for IRCTC, where users can book regular OYO Rooms. The stays start at Rs 999 per night, and offer standard OYO facilities like WiFi, complimentary breakfast, cable TV and AC rooms. Interestingly, OYO’s page also lists links to tour packages, flights, cab/buses and tourist trains, all of which link back to various features offered by IRCTC.

Zo Rooms acquisition: Earlier this month OYO Rooms bought out its rival Zo Rooms. Note that in August last year, OYO Rooms raised $100 million in a funding round led by SoftBank group and participation from existing investors Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed India. At the time, Zo Rooms had raised $30 million from its existing investors.

Food tie ups: The IRCTC has been tying up with multiple food delivery companies to let users order food while on the go, as well at train stations. Last month, it tied up with TravelKhana, who it had incidentally sued last month for copyright infringement; and Hello Curry in November, Foodpanda in the same month, and earlier in 2015 with Pizza Hut and KFC and Jubilant Foodworks.

IRCTC’s recent developments:

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– Earlier this month IRCTC introduced e-bedroll, a paid service where train passengers can book the bedsheet top, bedsheet bottom, pillow and a fabric pack for their journey at Chennai and Trivandrum Central Railway Stations.

– In the same month, Tata Teleservices’ mRupee partnered with the IRCTC to enable users to use its wallet to book tickets.

– Late last month, the Railway Ministry announced that from 15 February 2016, individual users would be able to book only 6 train tickets online per month on the IRCTC website.

Online ticketing revenue: In November, we reported that the 18 year old IRCTC generated Rs 20,620 crore (~ $3.08 billion) in online ticketing with a profit after tax of Rs 130 crore ($19.5 million) from March 2014- March 2015. This was up 34% from 2014, when its revenue was Rs 15,410 crore ($2.3 billion), and a profit of Rs 72 crore ($10.8 million).

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