The lifeline of the nation–Indian Railways is all set to go through rebranding and embrace a new identity after two decades. Over the years, IRCTC has established a sort of indelible branding in mind of crore Indians with ubiquitous logo from station stalls, water-tea cups to water bottle.
However, continuing its spree of rebranding government controlled properties, the BJP-led government is mulling over the rebranding of government-owned IRCTC this time.
IRCTC, a subsidiary of Indian Railway has been a matter of talk for its tongue-twisting name (acronym as well as full form). During an event, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that it is difficult to remember the name of IRCTC sometimes and a “catchy” name would be easier to remember while browsing the internet.
The rebranding of IRCTC came to light when PM Narendra Modi-promoted mygov.in portal ran a contest called ‘COIN A NEW NAME’ with Rs 1,00,000 cash prize for the winner.
The contest has been ended on 31st March only and till now there is no clarity and consensus over any probable names. However, railway officials have suggested ‘railtravel’ as the possible replacement of IRCTC’s brand.
Once infamous for its slowness, regular payments failure and server down menace, the corporation has been enhancing through deploying fast and responsive digital payments experience along with upgradation of server bandwidth and intutive UI/UX.
With transaction of 5,73,000 tickets everyday, IRCTC has tied up with digital payments firms such as Paytm, PayU, Mobikwik, and Razorpay to offload transaction as well as last minute ticket booking rush from its own server.
Sensing opportnity to cross sell ancillary services, IRCTC app integrated services including cab booking (via Ola), PNR status and train running details over WhatsApp and Paytm. The Ministry is planning to deploying chatbot for faster customer service instead of time consuming IVR system.
This is not the first time, the Railway ministry is experimenting with its app. In July 2017, the then Railway minister Suresh Prabhu had launched an app called Rail SAARTHI. Unlike others, SAARTHI is an integrated all in one app for ticket booking food ordering and other information.
Despite such facilities, the app has failed to capture passenger’s attention. It has merely been downloaded by a little over a lakh of Android devices (as per Google Play data).
While many Internet and consumer-facing companies in the past have proved the positive outcome of pivot and rebranding, it will be interesting to see how people react and replace the IRCTC branding which has been cemented in our memory with railways.
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The development was reported by ETNow News