Living on a houseboat in the serene beauty of Srinagar’s Dal Lake or Nigeen Lake is a unique experience that comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. The picturesque surroundings are undoubtedly a major highlight, providing residents with breathtaking views for the majority of the year. However, logistical hurdles, such as difficulties in receiving packages and deliveries, have been a persistent downside. Addressing these logistical concerns and striving to provide a seamless delivery experience to houseboats on Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake, Murtaza Khan Kashi, owner of the houseboat named Selec Town, has initiated an innovative solution. He has introduced the concept of a floating Amazon store, becoming part of the last-mile delivery initiative known as I Have Space (IHS), which was introduced in 2015.

Kashin runs Amazon floting store in his houseboat


Since the launch of his store in June, Kashi has been able to significantly expedite product deliveries to customers residing in and around the lakes. Kashi expressed his satisfaction with this venture, stating, “Delivering Amazon products is not new for me, but getting the packages delivered in and around Kashmir’s beautiful lakes is something new and pleasing.”

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He shared his motivation for this endeavour, recalling the challenges that both houseboat residents and tourists faced in receiving Amazon orders. “After experiencing the trouble houseboat residents and tourists go through while receiving their orders from Amazon, I decided to open a floating store for their convenience,” Kashi explained. This floating store has garnered an enthusiastic response, relieving Amazon customers from the need to travel ashore to collect their packages.

Kashi started first Amazon floating store


Manzoor Kundroo, who operates the houseboat New Golden Flower on Dal Lake, expressed his excitement about the floating Amazon store. He recalled his past struggles with Amazon deliveries, which required him to embark on a time-consuming journey to the banks of the lake for package pickup. Kundroo believes that the presence of the floating store will not only benefit the residents but also enhance the convenience for tourists. He highlighted the added advantage that Amazon will now be able to deliver groceries directly to their doorsteps.

Through the IHS program, Kashi, in addition to hosting tourists on his houseboat, anticipates earning supplementary income by providing Amazon’s logistics service. This is especially significant for Kashi, as his houseboat primarily generates seasonal income from tourists.

Chairman of the Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association (KHBOA), Manzoor Ahmad Pakthoon, commended Kashi’s innovative approach and encouraged fellow houseboat owners to explore unconventional ventures. He noted the challenges faced by the houseboat industry in Kashmir due to restrictions on renovation and expansion. Pakhtoon suggested that those struggling to sustain their businesses through tourism should follow Kashi’s footsteps and think creatively.

Selec Town Kashi's Houseboat is a Amazon Floating Store


Dr. Karuna Shankar Pande, Director of Amazon Logistics in India, emphasised that the floating store concept enables Amazon to provide more reliable, efficient, and quicker deliveries to customers across Srinagar. Amazon’s IHS initiative has expanded significantly, encompassing over 28,000 local partners in nearly 420 towns and cities in India. This initiative not only benefits Amazon’s business but also empowers individuals to embrace entrepreneurial opportunities.

Amazon smoothens delivery with Floating store in Kashmir


Amid the robust growth of e-commerce in India, with projections indicating a 40 percent CAGR until 2027, last-mile connectivity remains a critical aspect. The expansion of e-commerce has been further accelerated by the pandemic and lockdowns. As online shopping becomes increasingly integral to people’s lives, innovative solutions like Amazon’s floating store contribute to smoother transitions for communities residing on the water.

In a dynamic landscape where convenience and accessibility are paramount, the concept of a floating Amazon store on the iconic lakes of Kashmir represents a unique fusion of traditional charm and modern convenience. As technology continues to reshape how we access goods and services, initiatives like these serve as a testament to the power of innovation in enriching lives and enhancing experiences.