Blog: Dal Lake home to India’s first floating Amazon store
Murtaza Khan Kashi uses his houseboat as a store, enabling delivery to Amazon customers living on Dal Lake & Nigeen Lake
Burhan Farooq, an Amazon customer for the past three years, considers himself fortunate to live aboard a houseboat on the beautiful Dal Lake. The scenic waters, however, pose logistical challenges. “I have always relied on Amazon’s reliable delivery over the last three years," says Farooq. "While my orders have always been delivered on time, I had to embark on a journey by using my own shikara towards Ghat no. 7 at Dal Lake to receive the package. It used to be a time-consuming process that called for careful planning to ensure orders are not missed. But things changed swiftly when Amazon India onboarded a floating 'I Have Space' store in June. This development has made my life so convenient. Amazon’s 'I Have Space' partner Murtaza ensures that my packages are brought directly to the doorstep of my houseboat."
Making life simpler every day
Farooq is among many residents whose lives have become simpler with Amazon India onboarding the first-ever floating 'I Have Space' store — a houseboat named Selec Town on Dal Lake — in the first week of June 2023. Now residents of Srinagar’s Dal Lake no longer need to go ashore specifically to receive their Amazon deliveries: Selec Town’s owner Murtaza Khan Kashi delivers packages to the doorsteps of other houseboats in the Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake areas.
Since starting operations in the first week of June, Murtaza has become the source of reliable deliveries for customers residing in and around Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake. For Murtaza, the 'I Have Space' programme is a journey towards empowerment and earning additional income. “While I have a houseboat as my primary business, it only brings in seasonal income with the inflow of tourists in Srinagar. The cost of managing the houseboat is very high, which has made it very difficult for our family. In order to address the increasing expenses, I began looking for additional income opportunities,” says Murtaza.
Sailing towards empowerment
That’s when Murtaza came across Amazon’s 'I Have Space' programme where Amazon partners with local stores and business owners for delivering packages to Amazon customers within a 2-4 kilometres radius of their store.
"I saw this ('I Have Space' programme) as the right fit for me to utilise my free time and use my shikara to deliver packages to Amazon customers to supplement my regular income," says Murtaza.
This first floating 'I Have Space' store on Dal Lake underscores Amazon's commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for individuals and businesses. “We are thrilled to onboard India's first floating 'I Have Space' store on Dal Lake, Srinagar," says Karuna Shankar Pande, Director, Amazon Logistics, India. "This will enable us to provide customers across Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake with reliable, efficient, and fast deliveries.”
What is Amazon’s 'I Have Space' programme?
As Amazon scales and expands its delivery network across the country, it continues to enable individuals to unlock their entrepreneurial potential and create opportunities to broaden their horizons through its last-mile delivery program, 'I Have Space'. Through this programme, Amazon India partners with local stores and business owners to deliver products to customers within a 2-4 kilometres radius of their store, enabling them to earn additional income. Launched in 2015, the program has more than 28,000 neighbourhood and kirana partners in close to 420 towns and cities across its network in India.