In the year 2005, the founder Mr. Ratna Kumar and his family travelled to Shirdi (Manmad) by Ajanta Express from Secunderabad. The train was at around 6 PM, so, they boarded without having their dinner. Instead, they carried home-made chapattis. Unfortunately, they forgot to carry the curry. To their disappointment, there was no pantry car in the train, where they could complete their incomplete meals. Only cool drinks were being served by the railway staff. Mr. Ratna Kumar got down at every halt till 10 p.m., but could not find anything to complete his meal; not even tomato ketchup.
In the same year, he travelled to Cochin by Sabari Express, which is a long, tedious journey of 25 hours. During this journey, he witnessed that till they were within the boundaries of Andhra Pradesh, Andhra cuisine food was available in the train pantry. However, to his surprise the pantry car in the train had only Kerala cuisine on its menu, once they entered the state of Kerala. The only food available were Kerala dishes like Pazham Pori (snack item made with riped banana, but andhrites eat raw banana snacks), Sapat (Thali with different rice). This time, Mr. Ratna Kumar was travelling with his friend, who did not have a flavour for Kerala food. Although, Mr. Ratna Kumar relished and enjoyed the food, his friend was unable to enjoy a sumptuous meal during the tiresome journey.
Back in 2006, Mr. Ratna Kumar underwent yet another long journey to Delhi by A.P. Express. During his tedious journey of 25 hours, he realised the massive gap between a train traveller and the outside world. Although the train travelled across major cities, junctions and towns, the traveller was locked and restricted to a handful of products and services. Long journeys indeed cut off the traveller from the world that lay forward and behind. It was very disappointing as well as frustrating.
Mr. Ratna Kumar wondered, “If a traveller has to undergo a long, tiresome journey, does it mean that he has to disconnect and disorient himself from everything else, except the train and the tracks?” This gave birth to the idea of aggregating the primary services required for a train traveller on one platform.
Then, Mr. Ratna Kumar shared his train journey experiences with his friends and acquaintances. After a few discussions and brainstorming sessions with varied people, a new concept dawned upon him. Following which, he registered the domains like www.railsuperbazaar.com, www.erailbazaar.com in the year 2008, and approached railway officials for official permission. But, railway officials neither gave permission nor denied the concept. But, Mr. Ratna Kumar did not give up. His goal to provide facilities to a traveller and make their journey memorable took birth in 2012. After getting the information about the 2010 Railway catering policy, he began reworking on the concept from 2013 and has now launched www.shopinrail.com successfully.