Challenges faced

The offline way of doing business, especially in the transport industry, posed multiple challenges. As the number of buses and passengers increased, the prevalent methodologies of doing business became incommodious. The general issues included not able to get an amalgamated view of seat & route utilization or making an educated projection of the route and bus wise revenue generation. Some issues that shouted out loud were:

  • Inconvenience:

    Customers needed to visit bus counters for booking tickets, costing them both money and time.

  • Unsystematic:

    Since tickets were booked manually over the phone calls by the agents, errors were inevitable like multiple bookings of the same seat.

  • Loss:

    Potentially a smaller number of officially booked tickets resulted in the client’s monetary loss. Also, roadside pickups of passengers by drivers and conductors led to the revenue loss of authorized agents, besides the negative branding of the company.

  • Extended staff:

    Ticket booking agent’s commission had to be calculated manually and the commission had to be sent through cheque or bank deposits. This required additional manpower which was a burden to the company.

  • Records:

    There was a lack of proper insights into the growth of the company. There was no solid data of the most profitable routes and customer feedback as well as there was no transparency in transactions.

Proposed Solution

The idea behind Network Travels’ online ticket booking portal was to allow bus travelers from North-East India to book bus tickets at their convenience. While designing the application, special consideration was made to accommodate the brand image of Network Travels. The status of the booking orders and the course of payment which would be managed online would also be visible to both sides. The most challenging part of the project was to bring to functionality the payment transparency.

After the developmental process, the stiff task was to train the in-house employees. There is a great Digital Divide in North East compared to the rest of the country and issues like mobile network connectivity, internet connectivity, proper knowledge for operating computers and smartphones prevail, along with the reluctance to accept digitalization. TechVariable officials traveled to such remote places in the entire North East and trained the people on the usage and benefits of an online system.

Currently, a team of 3 online system admins and 2 software developers from TechVariable is working in support and maintenance.