In a recent business move, Adani Enterprises, the primary company of Gautam Adani's business conglomerate, has purchased a significant 30 percent stake in Start Enterprises Pvt Ltd (SEPL), the parent company behind Trainman, a convenient online platform for booking train tickets. This acquisition aligns with Adani Enterprises' previously announced plan to acquire the entire stake in SEPL.
Interestingly, Adani Enterprises referred to SEPL as an "online train booking and information platform" in the past. However, in a recent announcement, they have now described SEPL as being involved in "e-commerce and website development." This change in description has raised some eyebrows, with Jairam Ramesh, the Congress general secretary, suggesting that Adani's acquisition of Trainman might eventually lead to the control of IRCTC, the ticketing and services division of Indian Railways.
In response to these allegations, IRCTC has issued a statement debunking the claim and shedding light on its e-ticketing business segment. According to IRCTC, a staggering number of approximately 14.5 lakh reserved tickets are booked daily within the Indian Railways system. Out of these bookings, nearly 81 percent are e-tickets processed directly through IRCTC. Consequently, there is no competition between IRCTC and its agents, including Trainman.
IRCTC clarified that Trainman, as a business-to-consumer (B2C) partner of IRCTC, contributes a mere 0.13 percent to the overall reserved ticketing volume. The statement emphasized that since these partner firms are seamlessly integrated with IRCTC, their combined efforts contribute to a streamlined ticketing process for customers.
Adani Group's investment in Trainman signifies its second foray into the travel booking and information sector. Earlier, in October 2021, Adani Enterprises acquired a minority stake in Cleartrip Pvt Ltd, an online travel aggregator owned by Flipkart.