Rather than privatising through disinvestment and auctioning of assets, Indian Railways should be platformised, federated and a strong service layer be opened up for private players to build on.
Sundar is a Co-founder & Chief Schlepper at Ideophone. He is part of NextBigWhat's SELECT program that aims to bring together industry doers and practitioners. An early Wikipedian from India, an aspiring computational linguist, a wildlife enthusiast and a rail fan, he has more than a decade of experience in information extraction for consumer web and mobile working at Yahoo!, Ziva and InMobi. At Ideophone, he helps his team build information amenities for travel and transportation.
But, in this case they have merely put Yebhi’s inventory in front of IRCTC’s user base. While Yebhi.com certainly benefits from access to this market, IRCTC is reduced to an affiliate.
Instead of divesting the core of Indian Railways, a better approach is to strengthen the core, and make it a platform on top of which other commercial services can exist!
Indian Railways is facing scale problems almost unique to itself. While there are improvements required at every stage, there can’t be a significant improvement in ticket booking experience without making core changes. All these performance improvements can reduce passenger frustration…