A student from IIT KGP, Runal Jaju, has developed a mobile app titled 'Ticket Jugaad', along with his cousin Shubham Baldava, who studies in NIT Jamshedpur. The app is not only free for download but also charges nothing from passengers even for the service that it provides.
Ticket Jugaad gives alternative ticket options in the same train by identifying empty routes in a journey, when tickets for a particular route may be unavailable according to IRCTC data. Download the App on Playstore https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ticketjugaad&hl=en
"There are some station-wise quotas for ticket booking. For example if you are booking a ticket from station A, it might put you on the waiting list, but if you book it from the previous station, it may be available. If you try to manually find out such routes where tickets are available, it becomes tough but our app has automated this," says Jaju, explaining the functionality of the app. Ticket Jugaad thus increases access to information and informs the user about the maximum path that can be covered with a confirmed ticket in his preferred class of travel.
How did Jaju stumble upon this idea? "When I went to the website to book tickets, it showed that I was on the waiting list but when I boarded the train, it still had a few empty seats. They were left unutilised despite huge demand and so I thought of solving this problem using technology. What we do is provide the passenger with all the possible permutations and combinations to cover the maximum part of the journey," said the student.
This information of empty routes and alternatives was not easily available to users earlier and hence they would have to go to railway booking agents, who usually charge around 20% extra. Ticket Jugaad has automated this manual process and providing the information at one click. 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 any station which comes after the booking station.
Currently only on the Android platform, where it has seen more than 5000 downloads in a month's time, Ticket Jugaad is now awaiting a launch on a website as well as on Apple's iOS operating system. The student entrepreneurs have tied up with online travel agency Cleartrip for enabling booking of tickets. The app will be ad-free. To raise revenue, the developers will try to get a license for booking the tickets from the app.
Jaju spoke about the inspiration he received at IIT KGP, his alma mater. "When I came to IIT KGP, I saw that many of the students here and alumni have started their own ventures successfully and now even come for placements here; that was very motivating! Many of them have guided and mentored me whenever I faced any problem! So, I joined the Entrepreneurship Cell under the Rajendra Mishra School of Engineering Entrepreneurship (RMSOEE) in the college, which has played a very important role in my development. The School has numerous initiatives and being part of the team not only helped me gain the appropriate network, but it also fuelled the flames of innovation and entrepreneurship that I already had within me. Further the college’s Business Model Competition, Empresario (which we recently won in Product & Services category) helped us a lot as it gave us a platform to test our idea and also connected us to industry experts for mentorship."