If there is an award for preserving historic business practices and customer service methods I will recommend Indian Railways without hesitation.
Today I went to Egmore Railway station to send off my mother. There were multiple entry points to the platform, but the platform ticket counter was in the farthest place from Parking. After reaching the counter there was a long queue and it took me over 10 minutes to buy a Rs.3 Platform ticket that will give me rights to enter the station. As usual Indian Railways had just one counter for so many customers, no vending machines (I read in news they piloted a vending machine program and even a vending machine program Mobile SMS but withdrew them soon). The person in the counter followed what I suspect to be a British leftover way of issuing the tickets. He collected money (and gave change as needed), then picked up each ticket from storage one by one, affixed a rubber stamp to mark “MS” (indicating Egmore station), then another rubber stamp to mark today’s date and time on the back and then checked all of it before handing it over. He repeated this process over and over again for hundreds and hundreds each day. No change in the process for last 100 years old. I am sure no other business process in the world has been so untouched by Technology.
I was left furious on the inefficiency of this process & the enormous waste of people’s time, but then I was reminded this is Indian Railways – the preserver of History and British legacy. Probably this is how they ensure their political correctness by ensuring employment for everyone they have on their rolls.
Also published on Medium.