Can a data push help IRCTC book higher IPO valuation?

IRCTC passenger data
A senior IRCTC official said that the company does not sell its data and there is no intention to do so | Photo: iStock

In February 2017, then finance minister Arun Jaitley said in the budget that the government planned to float an initial public offering of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), among other state-run companies, in the financial year 2017-18. Two years hence, the online rail-ticket booking company may finally hit the market in coming months.

What caused the delay? Railways Minister Piyush Goyal offered a reason in June last year. Speaking at a news conference, he said the government wasn't satisfied with investment bankers' estimated valuation for IRCTC if it floated an IPO and went public.

Also read: IRCTC IPO price band set at ₹315-320, govt intends to raise ₹645 crore

“There is huge data with the company and that is not getting captured in the valuation. We are trying to see how we can utilise that,” Goyal said. Goyal is right, at least partially. IRCTC does have a huge pile of data, and it is looking for ways to use that data to find new revenue streams and boost profitability.

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