Nearly one years ago in May 2014, Trainman.in started the services of predicting confirmation of wait-listed Indian Railways train tickets. Today, their site is receiving 100,000 page views daily and 20000+ users are using it for their train related queries every day.
Started by Mohammed Amir, an IIT Roorkee computer science graduate, trainman analyzes the Indian Railways data and uses the power of scientific knowledge to predict whether the waitlisted ticket will get confirmed or not. It helps train traveler in taking informed decision instantly and saving lots of time.
Since he personally experienced many difficulties while booking train tickets, the idea dawned on him when he was working in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence. He successfully transformed his vision into a product, which is being used by thousands of Indians every day.
Trainman claims an accuracy of around 85%, thus, giving the traveler something to count on while booking the ticket. Other than PNR prediction Trainman also have feature like train schedule finder, train facts, etc.
Amir says, “Indian Rail has the biggest train network in the world. IRCTC books more than 1 million train tickets per day for this train network. A lot many of these tickets are wait-listed due to the scarcity of trains in almost all train routes. In such a situation, a traveler is left with the dilemma of whether to rely on his train or make some alternate arrangement. That’s where trainman comes in and advises the traveler as to what should be done.”
To be honest, Trainman has redefined the way, Indian books train tickets. But today, they are facing many similar service providers competing with them on the very same platform, which they have innovated one years ago.
He further adds, “It tells the users their chances of ticket confirmation in terms of percentage, just the way a normal estimation works, except that trainman’s estimation is based on more than 5 million real historical train records, hence making the prediction very accurate.”
Presently, this Bootstrapped startup has their application on android and iOS platform. All their apps are ad-free so that users are not distracted and their core services are delivered to them instantly without any diversions.
He says, “Currently, trainman does not have any revenue model. We are in the process of delivering quality product and increasing the number of ‘never-thought-before’ train related features.”
Since the trainman predicts the result based on the PNR data, he says it was quite a big task for them for accessing the data. He says, “One big hurdle was collection of PNR data to make the mathematical model for confirmation prediction. We came up with various heuristics for this purpose and have been able to collect 5 million PNRs till now.”
Trainman is easy to use platform and employs minimalist design. They faced problems initially, but they were able to successfully address them, as Amir says, “Another problem was coming up with a completely new design that deals with Indian railways in a unique and intuitive way. Compared to other sites, we have made trainman very easy to use. The site shows a lot of information without overwhelming the user with too much data. Usability has been our major concern while designing trainman.”
His innovative product was lauded by many news platforms like Your Story, Trak.in and Next Big What. Amir wants to share his creative side with IndianStartups readers, as he says, “Think of things that have never been done before. Find the pain points that user faces and address them. There are always such points to address in every field.”