Fortune has raised a firestorm with its cover showing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as Lord Vishnu, a revered Hindu deity. Others don’t like the word “invade” in the title because it smacks of colonialism. After Charlie Hebdo, it is surprising the magazine was not more sensitive to any religious images and good to see Fortune has since apologized.
Lost in the noise about the cover is the actual story about the ambitious nature of Amazon India that I excerpted on my innovation blog. It shows an Indian economy being transformed into a juggernaut. Amazon’s investments in bike based deliveries will transform logistics there “since the country has an arcane address system, patched together haphazardly over the decades, with many addresses containing descriptions reading something like “behind the mosque, across from the stadium.””
Amazon will also transform the commerce landscape in India: “Amazon has partnered with thousands of small shop owners across the country to act as pickup points in exchange for receiving a small commission per package.”
This is definitely a case of don’t judge a book by its cover. If you have any interest in India you will find Amazon’s plans there fascinating. And given Amazon’s ambivalence about media coverage, Fortune actually deserves credit for getting the company to open up.