Two students, one of them from IIT, have launched a mobile app which uses an unique algorithm to find out alternative routes for getting seats in train.
“There are some station-wise quotas for ticket booking. For example if you are booking a ticket from station A, it might show waiting list but when you book it from a previous station you might get the ticket. If you try to find out such stations manually it becomes tough but our app has automated this,” the app’s co-developer Runal Jaju told PTI.
The ‘Ticket Jugaad’ app is developed by second year IIT Kharagpur student Jaju and his cousin Shubham Baldava, who studies in NIT Jamshedpur. Supported by Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT, the start-up won the first prize of Rs 1.5 lakh in IIT Kharagpur’s Annual Global Business Model Competition recently.
The app automatically finds available tickets starting from stations before or after the source station to provide passengers the maximum path that can be covered with a confirmed ticket. The Railways allows passengers to board the train from a station which comes after the booking station.
“What we do is to provide you with all the possible permutations and combinations to cover the maximum part of your journey,” the 20-year-old engineering student said. Jaju said some ticket agents are experts in manually calculating such combinations to find seats but they charge a hefty fee from passengers.
The app is not only free for download but charges nothing from the passengers for providing the service. The idea came from Jaju’s personal experiences of travelling in between Kharagpur in West Bengal and his hometown of Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
The idea for Ticket Jugaad came to Shubham when he realised that several stations on a typical railway route had quotas of reserved tickets which go underutilized through its journey. So he wrote some simple computer code to find a solution to it.
He discussed the idea and solution with his cousin Runal who gave him inputs and also helped zero in on the business model that best fit the app. They decided to focus on a commission-based model for bookings rather than relying on ad revenues.
‘Ticket Jugaad’ has a tie up with online travel agency Cleartrip for booking tickets. “We will never have ads on our platform. To raise revenue we will try to get a license for booking the tickets from our app,” he said adding that they are trying to expand their services gradually.