The service will first be offered at four railway stations but will expand to 59 more in the coming weeks.

Swiggy works with IRCTC to provide meal delivery

Swiggy, a food delivery platform, announced on Tuesday a cooperation with the Indian train Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) to serve pre-ordered meals to travelers at four key train stations in India, joining rival Zomato in doing so.

As part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Swiggy will begin delivering meals from its wide restaurant network to passengers on certain trains, commencing with Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, and Vijayawada stations. The program will be expanded to 59 additional stations across the country in the coming weeks.

“One of the difficulties travelers encounter on long voyages is a lack of various food options. Through this integration, customers on specific trains can now enjoy high-quality, warm meals delivered right to their seats, transforming their journey into a convenient and pleasurable culinary experience,” Swiggy said in a statement announcing the cooperation.

The Indian Railways transports more than 8 billion people each year. Last October, it launched a similar partnership with rival Zomato, beginning with railway stations in New Delhi, Prayagraj, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Varanasi. 

The pre-ordered meals will be delivered through IRCTC’s e-catering service.

“Our focus at IRCTC has always been to find innovative ways to make rail travel comfortable and convenient for the billions of people traveling on Indian railways. This collaboration with Swiggy will provide our guests.” comfort and food options, to make their trip more enjoyable.” said Sanjay Kumar Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, IRCTC.

Swiggy’s Food Marketplace CEO Rohit Kapoor described the move as a pilot exercise, highlighting the company’s commitment to adding value to consumers by offering a variety of food choices.

On the company’s possible tie-up with fast-trade service Swiggy Instamart, Kapoor said that while the company is “not thinking about it”, it is an “interesting” idea.

Passengers who wish to use Swiggy’s food delivery service can do so by entering their PNR in the IRCTC app and selecting their desired delivery destination.

Swiggy connects more than 280,000 customers with restaurant partners across hundreds of locations. Its fast-food chain, Instamart, is available in more than 25 cities.

Kapoor said the company is “hopeful” of getting positive feedback from passengers and restaurant operators on these routes. This will encourage Swiggy to expand its services to more stations and new channels.

In India, the IRCTC provides food, hospitality, packaged drinking water, internet ticketing, and travel and tourism services. 

IRCTC’s e-catering services arm booked 1.48 billion meals in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2023. According to the company’s annual report, the service was accessible at around 338 stations, with an average of 40,669 meals booked daily. 

It also provides static catering services on railway platforms, such as refreshment lounges, food plazas, and fast-food units.

In the fiscal year 2023, IRCTC had revenues of ₹3,541.47 crore and a net profit of ₹1,005.88 crore.