Trainman Sells 30% Stake to Adani Enterprises for INR 3.5 Crore
Adani Enterprises, a prominent company owned by Gautam Adani, has acquired a nearly 30 percent stake in Start Enterprises Pvt Ltd (SEPL), the parent company of Trainman, an online train ticket booking platform. The acquisition was carried out by Adani Digital Labs Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, for a sum of Rs 3.56 crore. The turnover of SEPL in the fiscal year 2022-23 was Rs 4.51 crore.
While Adani Enterprises initially described SEPL as an “online train booking and information platform,” it has now labeled the company as being involved in “e-commerce and website development.” This change in description led to some controversy last month, with Jairam Ramesh, a Congress general secretary, suggesting that Adani’s acquisition of Trainman could potentially lead to the takeover of IRCTC, the ticketing and services arm of the Indian Railways. However, IRCTC issued a statement denying this allegation, emphasizing that there is no competition between IRCTC and its agents, including Trainman.
Trainman, founded in 2011 by Vineet Chirania and Karan Kumar, is an Indian travel booking app that offers various features such as checking PNR status, predicting seat confirmation possibilities, and providing real-time updates on seat availability, running status, and more. This acquisition marks Adani group’s second investment in the travel booking and information sector, following their minority stake purchase in Flipkart’s Cleartrip Pvt Ltd, an online travel aggregator, in October 2021.
Adani Enterprises, the flagship company of Gautam Adani’s business empire, continues to expand its presence in the digital space with its recent acquisition of a significant stake in Start Enterprises Pvt Ltd (SEPL). Through its subsidiary, Adani Digital Labs Pvt Ltd, the company has purchased a 29.81 percent stake in SEPL for a sum of Rs 3.56 crore.
SEPL, the parent company of Trainman, an online train ticket booking platform, has been making waves in the travel industry since its establishment in 2011. Founded by Vineet Chirania and Karan Kumar, Trainman has gained popularity among Indian travelers for its user-friendly interface and valuable features. The platform allows passengers to check the status of their bookings, predicts the likelihood of getting a confirmed seat, and provides real-time updates on seat availability, train schedules, fares, and more.
This strategic investment by Adani Enterprises further solidifies the company’s foray into the travel booking and information sector. It follows their previous minority stake acquisition in Cleartrip Pvt Ltd, an online travel aggregator associated with Flipkart, in October 2021. Adani’s growing presence in this space reflects their recognition of the immense potential in the digital travel industry in India.
The recent acquisition of Trainman has generated some attention and speculation. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh had previously expressed concerns that Adani’s entry into Trainman might pave the way for a potential takeover of IRCTC, the ticketing and services arm of Indian Railways. However, IRCTC swiftly issued a statement refuting these claims. They clarified that Trainman and other agencies aligned with IRCTC are integrated partners, facilitating a seamless ticketing process for customers. They emphasized that there is no competition between IRCTC and its associated agents, as they collectively contribute to the efficient functioning of the e-ticketing system.
Adani Enterprises’ investment in SEPL not only highlights their strategic approach to expanding their digital portfolio but also underscores their commitment to innovation and customer-centric services. By leveraging SEPL’s expertise and Trainman’s robust platform, Adani aims to enhance the travel experience for Indian rail passengers, providing them with convenient and reliable booking options.
As Adani Enterprises diversifies its business interests, the acquisition of SEPL and Trainman showcases the company’s vision for digital transformation and its determination to tap into the growing e-commerce and website development sectors. With their strong financial backing and access to extensive resources, Adani Enterprises is well-positioned to drive innovation and make a significant impact on India’s digital landscape.
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