Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Indian business which never runs on loss

The entire world seems to be obsessed with recession and business losses. From airlines to hotels and retail outlets to real estate everybody is trying to attract customers by offering them discounts and other freebies. But there is one business in India which always seems to have buyers and never seems to be be at loss. Well you do not need to know rocket science to answer that. Its our very own Indian Railways.

Have any of us ever come across any long distance train where seats run empty?Anyone who really has seen this other than isolated incidents is surely eligible to be a 'wonder of the world'. Any form of public transport system around the world will envy the kind of occupancy Indian Railways has in spite of providing sub standard services in most cases.

RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) and Waiting List is a norm within days when the booking starts which is also a whopping 90 days before the date of travel. Some people do not mind travelling for thousands of kilometres without a confirmed ticket as long as they get a chance to stand inside the train. Thanks to this the Sleeper Class compartments always remains overbooked much to the dismay of the passengers with confirmed tickets.

Passenger and inter city trains are even worst carrying passengers many times more than their capacity. An Indian railways passenger train is incomplete without people risking their lives hanging on the doors. The sub urban rail network in the metros resembles cattle carts stuffed with human souls who have one thing in common their dependence on Indian Railways in their everyday life.

Having spread its network around the length and breadth of the country railways can take you to all major destinations of the country. If not at least a few hundred kilometres from the destination of one's choice. It is also one of the cheapest forms of transport in the country when compared with road transport and airlines.

With so much of passenger volume and such a huge network Indian Railways must be one of the money making mints in the world. Wait here is the catch till a few years ago Indian Railways always had a deficit budget and was supposed to be running under loss. The credit for this must have gone to our political class and bureaucracy who made sure the railway funds were diverted to their Savings Bank accounts!.

Surprisingly the Indian Railways turned into a profit making organisation even with fare cuts under the leadership of a person who had robbed his own state of every possible thing during his party's rule. Lalu Prashad Yadav not only made the balance sheet of the railways green he also improved upon the efficiency of the railways. No wonder if managed properly this is one business which does not seem to face any threat unless airlines start ferrying people at half the price of a train ticket!


Anonymous,  January 13, 2009 at 8:51 PM  

Acquiesce completely wid most of wat u said...but gotta differ..
First..Indian Railways ain't a business...if it ever were as such den..aah Armageddon..
Second...u sumhow surmised Indian railways garnered profits from passenger travel which is nt so.

Rahul January 13, 2009 at 11:41 PM  

I love the Indian Railways connecting each an every corner of India, but just wanted it to be a bit more organised and cleaner :)

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