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Dosa, South Indian food, food on train, food in train, irctc, e-catering, nStore, train food, restaurant near railway station, veg thali, non veg thali

Enhancing Passenger Food Experience: How IRCTC Can Meet Expectations.


One of the essential aspects of train travel is the provision of food on board. For Indian Railways, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is responsible for catering services. Over the years, IRCTC has made significant efforts to improve the quality and variety of food options available to passengers. However, there is still room for improvement to meet passenger expectations. In this blog, we will discuss various ways in which IRCTC can enhance the passenger food experience and ensure customer satisfaction.

Diversify the Menu:

 One of the primary expectations of passengers is a diverse menu that caters to various tastes and dietary preferences. IRCTC can collaborate with food experts to design a menu that includes a wide range of regional, national, and international cuisines. Regularly updating the menu and incorporating seasonal specialties will keep the offerings fresh and exciting.

Focus on Quality and Hygiene:

 Maintaining high standards of food quality and hygiene is crucial to meeting passenger expectations. IRCTC should strictly adhere to food safety regulations and conduct regular inspections of its catering facilities. Implementing a robust quality control system that includes sourcing fresh ingredients, proper storage, and hygienic food preparation practices is essential. Regular training of the catering staff in food safety and hygiene practices will further ensure the delivery of safe and high-quality meals.

Introduce Pre-Booking Options:

 To enhance convenience and reduce last-minute food-related hassles, IRCTC can introduce pre-booking options for meals. Passengers should be able to select their preferred meals while booking their train tickets. This approach allows IRCTC to streamline meal preparation and ensure that passengers receive their preferred choice without any delays or shortages.

Collaborate with Local Food Vendors:

 Indian Railways covers a vast geographical expanse, each region known for its unique culinary specialties. Collaborating with local food vendors and famous eateries at select stations can introduce passengers to regional delicacies. This partnership will not only add variety to the menu but also promote local businesses. IRCTC can curate special food packages that feature regional cuisines, offering passengers an authentic culinary experience during their train journey.

Solicit Passenger Feedback and Act Upon It:

A crucial aspect of meeting passenger expectations is actively seeking their feedback. IRCTC should establish multiple channels for passengers to provide feedback on their food experience. This feedback can be collected through surveys, online platforms, or even suggestion boxes placed on trains. Additionally, IRCTC should ensure that feedback is promptly analyzed and acted upon, allowing for continuous improvement and addressing any issues raised by passengers.


 IRCTC plays a vital role in enhancing the overall train travel experience, and meeting passenger food expectations is an essential aspect of that responsibility. By diversifying the menu, maintaining quality and hygiene standards, introducing pre-booking options, embracing technology, collaborating with local vendors, and actively seeking and acting upon passenger feedback, IRCTC can ensure a delightful and satisfactory food experience for all passengers. By continually striving to improve, IRCTC will not only meet but exceed passenger expectations, making train journeys a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone

Dosa, South Indian food, food on train, food in train, irctc, e-catering, nStore, train food, restaurant near railway station, veg thali, non veg thali

India on Rails: Exploring the Spectacular Reach of Indian Railways.

Indian Railways is one of the largest and most extensive railway networks in the world. It has a rich history and plays a significant role in connecting different regions of India. Here are some interesting facts about Indian Railways:

Oldest Railway Network: Indian Railways was established in 1853 when the first passenger train ran between Mumbai (then Bombay) and Thane. It covered a distance of 34 kilometers.

Fourth Largest Network: Indian Railways operates over 67,000 kilometers of track, making it the fourth-largest railway network in the world, after the United States, China, and Russia.

Largest Employer: Indian Railways is also the largest employer in India, providing direct and indirect employment to millions of people across the country.

Luxury Trains: India is home to several luxury trains, such as the Palace on Wheels, Maharajas’ Express, and the Deccan Odyssey, which offer opulent travel experiences and showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway are two Indian Railways’ narrow-gauge lines that have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Longest Railway Platform: Gorakhpur Junction in Uttar Pradesh has the longest railway platform in the world, measuring around 1,366 meters.

Electric and Diesel Locomotives: Indian Railways has one of the largest fleets of electric and diesel locomotives, contributing to both passenger and freight transportation.

Railway Stations: With over 7,000 railway stations, Indian Railways operates one of the most extensive networks of railway stations globally.

Fastest Train: The Vande Bharat Express, also known as Train 18, is India’s fastest train, with a top operational speed of 180 km/h.

Budget Travel: Indian Railways offers some of the most economical travel options, making it an accessible mode of transport for people from all walks of life.

Lifeline of India: Often referred to as the “lifeline of the nation,” Indian Railways plays a crucial role in connecting even remote areas to urban centers, facilitating transportation of goods and passengers alike.

Fairy Queen: The Fairy Queen is one of the oldest steam locomotives in the world, built in 1855 and still operational for special heritage trips.

High-Tech Initiatives: Indian Railways has been actively embracing technology, including the introduction of online ticket booking, e-catering services, and Wi-Fi connectivity at some major stations.

Hospital Trains: Indian Railways operates hospital trains equipped with medical facilities to provide healthcare services to remote and underserved areas during emergencies.

Environmentally Friendly: Indian Railways has been making efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by introducing more eco-friendly and energy-efficient initiatives like solar-powered trains and LED lighting in trains and stations.

Largest Rail Network: The Indian Railways is the largest rail network in Asia and the second-largest in the world, covering over 67,368 kilometers (41,861 miles) of track and connecting more than 7,346 stations across the country.

Busiest Rail Network: Indian Railways carries over 23 million passengers daily, making it one of the busiest rail networks in the world. It also transports around 3 million tons of freight every day.

Rail Museum: India has a dedicated rail museum, the National Rail Museum, located in New Delhi. It showcases various historical locomotives, carriages, and artifacts related to the Indian Railways.

Gauge Diversity: Indian Railways operate on multiple gauges, including broad gauge (5 feet 6 inches), meter gauge (3 feet 3 3⁄8 inches), and narrow gauge (2 feet 6 inches). It has an extensive network on each of these gauges.

Himalayan Railways: The Indian Railways operates two iconic mountain railways in the Himalayas. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the “Toy Train,” and the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, known for its unique rack and pinion system, provide picturesque journeys through scenic mountain routes.

Indian Railways’ vast network and historical significance make it an integral part of India’s cultural and transportation heritage. It continues to evolve and adapt to modern challenges while preserving its rich legacy.

Dosa, South Indian food, food on train, food in train, irctc, e-catering, nStore, train food, restaurant near railway station, veg thali, non veg thali

6 Reasons Why nStore Should be Your Preferred Choice for Ordering Food on Trains.

nStore is the ideal choice for train food due to several reasons that make it a go-to option for train travelers. Here are some compelling reasons why nStore should be your preferred choice:

Wide Menu Selection:

nStore offers a diverse menu selection that caters to different tastes and preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for Indian cuisine, continental dishes, or even regional specialties, nStore has a variety of food options to choose from. They understand the importance of offering a range of choices to satisfy diverse palates.

Fresh and Hygienic Food:

nStore prioritizes the quality and hygiene of their food that is getting served to the train passengers. They ensure that the ingredients used are fresh, sourced from reliable suppliers, and prepared under strict hygiene standards. This commitment to freshness and cleanliness ensures that you can enjoy a safe and healthy meal during your train journey.

Customizable Orders:

nStore allows customers to customize their orders according to their preferences. Whether you have specific food dietary requirements or simply want to personalize your meal, nStore provides options for customization.

Convenient Ordering:

nStore offers a user-friendly and convenient ordering process. You can place your order through IRCTC website, IRCTC application or nStore’s QR code or their website, making it easy for the train passengers to browse the menu, select your items, and place your order with just a few clicks. This saves you time and eliminates the hassle of standing in long queues or dealing with paper-based menus.

Timely Delivery:

nStore understands the importance of delivering food on time, especially during train journeys where time is of the essence. They strive to ensure that your food is delivered to you promptly, so you can enjoy your meal without delays. Their efficient delivery system helps maintain the overall convenience of their service.

Reliable Service:

nStore has established a reputation for reliable service. They have garnered positive reviews and feedback from customers who have used their services, attesting to their commitment to customer satisfaction. Choosing nStore as your go-to choice for train food provides peace of mind, knowing that you can rely on their service for a pleasant dining experience during your train journeys

In conclusion, nStore offers a wide menu selection, fresh and hygienic food, customizable orders, convenient ordering, timely delivery, and reliable service. These qualities make nStore an excellent choice for train food, ensuring that you can have a satisfying and enjoyable dining experience during your journey.

Dosa, South Indian food, food on train, food in train, irctc, e-catering, nStore, train food, restaurant near railway station, veg thali, non veg thali

Food Ordering in Trains: Boon or Bane.

Food ordering in trains has become a boon for passengers, providing them with convenience and a wide range of dining options while traveling. Here are some reasons why food ordering in trains is considered a boon:


Previously, train passengers had limited options when it came to food during their journey. They either had to carry homemade meals or rely on pantry car services, which may not always offer the desired variety or quality. With food ordering services, passengers can now easily access a vast range of cuisines and dishes from their smartphones or online platforms. They can order food from their preferred restaurants and have it delivered directly to their seats at their desired time.

Choice and Variety:

Food ordering platforms for trains typically have tie-ups with multiple restaurants and food outlets across various cities and towns. This allows passengers to choose from a diverse menu, including regional specialties, popular chains, and even healthy food options. Whether it’s vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or special dietary requirements, passengers can find a wide variety of options to suit their preferences.

Hygiene and Quality:

Food safety and quality have always been a concern for train passengers. By partnering with reputed restaurants and food delivery services, food ordering platforms ensure that the food prepared is of high quality and adheres to hygiene standards. Many platforms have user reviews and ratings, helping passengers make informed choices about the restaurants they order from.


One common issue with train journeys is uncertainty regarding food availability at specific stations, especially during odd hours or long-haul journeys. Food ordering services eliminate this uncertainty by allowing passengers to pre-order meals as per their schedule. Passengers can specify their preferred delivery time, ensuring their meals arrive when they need them.

Seamless Payment Options:

Food ordering platforms provide convenient and secure payment options, including online payment gateways and cash on delivery. This makes it hassle-free for passengers to pay for their meals without the need for exact change or dealing with cash-related inconveniences.

Customer Support:

Food ordering platforms usually offer dedicated customer support to address any issues or concerns faced by passengers. This ensures a smooth and satisfactory experience for customers, as they can seek assistance in case of order modifications, cancellations, or other queries.

Overall, food ordering in trains has revolutionized the dining experience during train journeys, offering passengers a convenient, varied, and hygienic food service. It has become a boon for travelers who can now enjoy delicious meals of their choice without any hassle.

Dosa, South Indian food, food on train, food in train, irctc, e-catering, nStore, train food, restaurant near railway station, veg thali, non veg thali

Revolutionizing Railway Catering: The IRCTC eCatering and nStore Technologies Partnership.

• Introduction

The Indian Railways has always been an integral part of the country’s transportation system, connecting people across vast distances. One aspect that greatly impacts passengers’ travel experience is ecatering services. Recognizing the need for a significant upgrade in this department, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) joined forces with nStore Technologies, a leading technology provider, to revolutionize railway catering services. This partnership aims to enhance customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and bring about a digital transformation in the catering ecosystem. In this blog post, we will explore the exciting collaboration between IRCTC eCatering and nStore Technologies and its potential impact on railway catering.

• Streamlining Operations and Expanding Options

The collaboration between IRCTC eCatering and nStore Technologies brings with it a host of benefits for both passengers and the catering industry. One of the key objectives of this partnership is to streamline operations and ensure efficient management of onboard catering services. The integration of nStore’s cutting-edge technology and IRCTC’s eCatering platform allows for seamless coordination between various stakeholders, including food vendors and the passengers.

By leveraging nStore’s technology, nStore works towards reducing wastage and ensuring timely delivery of fresh and hygienic meals to the passengers. This not only benefits railway passengers by ensuring prompt service but also leads to cost savings and increased profitability for food vendors.

• Enhanced Digital Experience

In addition to operational enhancements, the partnership between IRCTC eCatering and nStore Technologies aims to enhance the digital experience for passengers. Through the integration of nStore’s technology, IRCTC eCatering can provide a user-friendly platform that enables passengers to easily browse through a wide range of meal options, customize their orders, and make secure payments online.

Moreover, nStore’s data analytics capabilities can be leveraged to gain insights into customer preferences, order patterns, and popular food choices. This data-driven approach allows IRCTC eCatering to personalize the catering experience, recommend relevant meal options, and continuously improve the quality of food services offered in the train.

• Ensuring Quality and Safety Standards

Food safety and quality have always been a top priority for IRCTC eCatering. With the partnership with nStore Technologies, stringent quality control measures can be implemented more effectively ensuring compliance with established standards.

• Future Prospects and Conclusion

The partnership between IRCTC eCatering and nStore Technologies marks a significant step towards modernizing railway catering services in India. By integrating innovative technology solutions, this collaboration has the potential to transform the way nstore connects with food merchants enhances train passenger’s experience.

Looking ahead, the partnership could explore additional avenues to further enrich the catering experience, such as incorporating AI-powered chatbots for real-time customer food ordering experience and expanding the range of meal options to cater to diverse dietary preferences.

With IRCTC eCatering’s wide reach and nStore Technologies’ expertise in technology, this collaboration has the power to shape the future of railway catering in India, making train journeys not only convenient but also a delightful culinary experience.

nStore receives technology partner award.

The Nallakeerai team hosted a farmer’s market event that was held over two days (on 12th and 13th August 2018) in Chennai. It was a food festival featuring traditional South Indian fare, talks by experts on how ‘Food is medicine’, and cultural programmes featuring songs sung during sowing and harvest seasons. Also, the event ended with the team picking eminent, path-breaking farmers for the awards from across the State.

In addition, the nStore team was proud to receive the Technology Partner from Nallakeerai. It was a testament to the role of technology in streamlining the fresh produce supply chain and providing timely access to information.

5 The Genesis of nStore,The Dawn of an Idea.

This was way back in June 2016 when I was leading an organization successfully in the Retail Payment space in India and enjoying the work that I was doing, As part of my work, I visited many stores to educate them to accept digital payments and everywhere I met with the
same answer that Cash is more convenient and that there is least or no interest in accepting digital payments unless forced by the consumer. From a consumer’s perspective, it made no difference to a majority of population in spite of penetration of digital banking,

One day I presented to the board that engaging with the retailer will prove more effective in the long run if we do not go with a pointed product/solution but instead offer a holistic solution towards building an ecosystem. The concept was appreciated and I was motivated
to do a study on the ecosystem components that are useful for the retailer.

After a month of study, I came up with a list and more importantly the study gave me insights that there is an opportunity in the vast unorganized retail segment in the country if we play it right.

Suddenly, one fine evening as I was preparing to leave office around 8.00 p.m. there was a message that the Country has demonetized Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/- notes and a huge demonetization exercise will take place. After two months of mayhem, as the dust settled down
on one of the country’s largest stimuli program, one thing that certainly happened is that retailers started realizing the power of digital.

Acceptance of everything in the digital space began. Many changes happened in my life between Sep 2016 to Dec 2016 and suddenly I was looking at an uncertain future for myself in the organization as the group was going through a major change. But one thing
remained deep rooted in me that the idea that dawned upon me has got the potential and there is an opportunity if I am able to put together a right team.

Looking for Believers in the Idea

Though there is an opporutnity, I realised that in order for this to see the light of success, I will need a team of like-minded people with complementing skills who believe in the idea, to join the core team. I went over my network of friends to identify my team of co-founders.

I reached out to my roommate in college who was then working with a large MNC handling operations and support and when I bounced off this idea with him he readily agreed to be part of this and to my surprise he said he tried doing something in 2014 but did not get the
time and team to take it forward.

Finding the first co-founder was both satisfying and reassuring, and as I reached home, I decided to jump into this. One thing followed the other and by 10 Feb 2017 we had registered the Company nStore Technologies Private Limited.

Now both of us reached out to another friend who has been an entrepreneur for 10 years and shared our idea and to our surprise he said there is a base platform that he has built and we can use that to build our platform, however he may not be able to join us full time
as he has other committements but he assured us of full support in taking this forward.

Without an office and people we slowly moved ahead to create the platform that we wanted. However, we were aware that in order to progress rapidly, we need someone who understands retail and software development to join the team and play the role of an architect.

Two months passed and by June 2017 I was back again in Chennai and this time meeting my school mates over dinner and some of us are meeting after 15 years. I decided to announce my venture to my friends and one of my close friends in the group heard the story
and said he specializes in retail and has worked extensively in the US and UK geographies to help large retailers create systems and processes to scale their Business.

That day, I decided that if nStore has to move forward he should be part of the core team. So I reached out to him to take him through the idea. With him joing nStore, this venture started taking shape with inputs coming in from three complementingskill sets.

One thing that was common across all the four people is the belief that there is an opportunity and that if we play it right and keep our cool we can make it.Keep at it Now we have 3 minds applying themselves into this project and it would help if we have an anchor customer to use the product that we are creating and it would be good if he can pay for our services.

Next 3 months from July 2017 went in identifying the customer and by December 2017 with the help of all the connects and relationships that I had made in the Industry, We got our first customer who paid us some money to deliver this by March 2018.

Over this period and till date, one thing that all three of us realize is that whenever we feel low and dejected, an opportunity presents itself, lifts our spirits and gives us the confidence and courage to keep pushing forward.

Also, by December 2017 we got our first employee who had around 15 years of experience and who believed in this story and decided to help us with Enterprise partnerships and lead the sales engagements.

The teams grew bigger with each one belieiving in the story and wanting to push the agenda forward one step at a time.

By March 2018, we delivered this product to the anchor customer and by June 2018 we wanted to take this to the retail market in Chennai while continuing our efforts to build the partnership ecosystem and offer this platform to more such enterprises.

We now needed an investor who can back us up and support our efforts financially and one who understands the importance of “VALUE CREATION over VALUATION”.

What started in February 2018 ended in September 2018 when the investor decided to support the venture.

While we face challenges in terms of infrastructure, finances and rejections from investors for being in a crowded market and no differentiation, one thing that keeps us moving forward is the belief and positive affirmation that are customers and partners have
bestowed upon us.

Today as we look at what we have achieved in the last two years… we managed I

NR 4 Crores GMV processed through our platform.
300,000+ unique customers touched through our platform
3 Enterprise Customers
5 Ecosystem Partners
500+ stores
Unique Rural Engagement for the platform
And this is just the beginning…

National Summit on Catalyzing Grassroots Micro-entrepreneurship Development (MED).

Deshpande Foundation hosted a ‘National Summit for Catalysing Grassroots Micro Entrepreneurship’ in Hubli from 18 to 19 July 2019. The theme of the conference was “Building potential partnerships to impact a billion people through micro-entrepreneurship in India”.
The objective was to create a conducive ecosystem for all stakeholders that fosters development through mutual exchange of knowledge and resources. Pradeep Sampath (CEO & Co-founder of nStore) participated in the event as an elite panelist for a panel discussion
on ‘Ecosystem Development for Micro Entrepreneurship development’

Pradeep Sampath in a discussion with Smt. Leena Johri (IAS Joint Secretary MoRD – GoI)
Open chat