IRCTC partners with Zomato: On October 18, Zomato, the renowned food tech giant, saw its shares reach a 52-week peak of INR 115 due to its strategic collaboration with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). The deal promises to revolutionize the dining experience for rail travelers by offering pre-ordered meal supply and delivery. This article explores the implications and significance of this partnership.
A Gourmet Train Journey
In a pioneering move, IRCTC partners with Zomato. Zomato has agreed with IRCTC to initiate pre-ordered meal services. This undertaking is set to undergo a proof of concept (PoC) phase, introducing rail passengers to booking meals through the IRCTC e-catering platform. During the pilot phase, this service will be available at five major railway stations: New Delhi, Prayagraj, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Varanasi.
IRCTC partners with Zomato (IRCTC-Zomato Collaboration)
The IRCTC’s decision to collaborate with Zomato aims to expand the food service options available to rail travelers. This joint endeavor will allow passengers to access Zomato’s services at these five railway stations for pre-ordered meals, adding a touch of culinary diversity and convenience to their journeys.
Zomato’s shares concluded trading at INR 113.90 the previous day and commenced the following trading day at INR 114.25. As of 12:20 p.m., they were trading at INR 111.45. The stock’s 52-week high, INR 115, was reached on October 18.
Profitability and the Road Ahead
This development arrives on the heels of a significant milestone for Zomato. In the first quarter of the fiscal year 2024, the company reported its maiden profitable quarter. Zomato achieved a profit after tax (PAT) of INR 2 crore, marking a notable departure from the net loss of INR 186 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year. This surge in profitability coincided with a substantial increase in revenues from operations, soaring to INR 2,416 crore in the quarter ending in June 2023, compared to INR 1,413.9 crore in the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.
While Zomato made substantial strides in achieving profitability, it also faces the challenge of sustaining this momentum. Economic factors continue to influence the demand for online food delivery. JM Financial’s report highlights that Zomato’s sequential food delivery gross order value (GOV) growth for September-Q is anticipated to remain in the mid-single digits, albeit posting year-on-year solid growth, as the first quarter did. In contrast, the report suggests that Blinkit could witness robust high-teens sequential GOV growth due to a surge in order volume.
As the festive season approaches, IRCTC is preparing to offer special services and promotions to cater to passengers’ needs. The railway catering service has already introduced Navratri thalis to accommodate fasting travelers.
The partnership between IRCTC and Zomato marks a remarkable shift in how passengers experience dining during train journeys. With the promise of a diverse and convenient culinary experience, this collaboration will make rail travel more enjoyable and comfortable for all passengers, enhancing the overall travel experience.
Zomato’s shares have responded positively to this exciting partnership, reaching a 52-week high. As the collaboration unfolds, it holds the potential to redefine the culinary landscape for rail travelers across India.
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