IRCTC sets sights on big valuation ahead of listing

The government-owned Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has kicked off a valuation process, in a move to tap the capital markets - the first step to entering the league of e-commerce companies that gain huge valuations over short periods.

IRCTC claims to book more rail tickets in a day than all the airline tickets sold across the world put together. However, analysts say RCTC's record won't fetch good valuation.

They say before hitting market, the portal should upgrade its software and appoint a CEO who can upgrade its working standards.

The IRCTC portal sells Rs250 crore worth of tickets a day, and books only about 54-58 per cent of the total train tickets and sees huge growth potential.

Reports quoting IRCTC's chairman and managing director (CMD) AK Manocha said the valuation is expected to be higher than Rs14,000 crore.

''We have 3.1 crore customer data, get over two million hits a day, and book 5.5-6 lakh tickets a day,'' he said, apart from hitting a high of 13.45 lakh bookings on 1 April.

Meanwhile, officials of IRCTC, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) and the Railways are reported have held a meeting with ICICI chairman KV Kamath last December on this issue.

He said IRCTC has appointed Microsoft to conduct a proof of concept, and engage officials with big data knowledge to increase the government-owned company's revenue streams.

A company release said ICICI Securities has been appointed as in-house advisor to assist in the valuation exercise / processes by coordinating and evaluating strategies and presentations by various advisors / bankers of IRCTC.