Swiggy partners IRCTC to provide food delivery service on Indian Railways | Mint – Mint

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New Delhi: Food delivery platform Swiggy on Tuesday announced a partnership with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) to deliver pre-ordered meals to travellers at four major railway stations in India, joining rival Zomato in offering this service.

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Swiggy will start delivering food from its extensive restaurant network to passengers on select trains, beginning with Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, and Vijayawada stations. The service will likely be rolled out for 59 more stations across the country in the coming weeks.

“One of the challenges encountered by travellers during extended journeys is the paucity of diverse culinary options. Through this integration, passengers aboard designated trains now have the option to savour good-quality, warm meals delivered right to their seats, thereby transforming their travel into a convenient and delightful culinary experience,” Swiggy said in a statement announcing the partnership.

The Indian Railways transports over 8 billion passengers annually. Last October, it announced a similar association with rival Zomato, starting with railway stations of New Delhi, Prayagraj, Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi. 

The delivery of the pre-ordered meals will be done through IRCTC’s e-catering portal.

“At IRCTC our focus has always been to explore new ways to make train journeys comfortable and convenient for the billions of passengers aboard the Indian railways every year. This partnership with Swiggy will bring more convenience and food options to our passengers, making their journeys more memorable,” said Sanjay Kumar Jain, chairman and managing director, IRCTC.

Rohit Kapoor, CEO of Food Marketplace at Swiggy, commented on the venture as an exploratory step, emphasizing the company’s commitment to creating value for consumers by offering a wide range of food choices. 

On a possible association with Swiggy Instamart, the company’s quick commerce service, Kapoor said, while the company has not “thought about it”, it was an “interesting” idea.

Passengers looking to take advantage of Swiggy’s food delivery service can do so by entering their PNR on the IRCTC app and selecting their preferred station for meal delivery. 

Swiggy connects consumers to over 280,000 restaurant partners in hundreds of cities. Its quick commerce grocery service Instamart is present in over 25 cities.

Kapoor said the aggregator was “hopeful” of a buoyant response from passengers and restaurant operators on these routes. This will prompt Swiggy to extend the service across more stations and newer routes.

IRCTC provides catering, hospitality, packaged drinking water, internet ticketing, travel and tourism services in India. 

Via its e-catering services arm, IRCTC saw 1.48 billion meals booked in the fiscal year that ended 31 March 2023. The service was available at approximately 338 stations, with an average of 40,669 meals booked daily, according to its annual report for the year. 

It also offers static catering that includes the provision of offline food services via refreshment rooms, food plazas and fast-food units, among others, on railway platforms.

In fiscal year 2023, IRCTC generated revenues of 3,541.47 crore with net profit at 1,005.88 crore.

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Published: 05 Mar 2024, 04:20 PM IST

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