Amazon Junglee: What's in a name?

Summary:Here's why Amazon India is called Junglee.

In February of this year Amazon entered India by setting up a product aggregator at Junglee.com. The website is a precursor to the company setting up full-scale operations in the country. When the news broke, Amazon's choice for the name seemed quite odd. Junglee in Hindi means wild, the word made little sense for Amazon's operations; I thought the company was being bold and the name had an underlying message for the competitors. At the same time I couldn't figure out what was wrong with Amazon India. As it turns out, there's a bit of internal history associated with the name.

Last month as part of our Master's program, my friends and I  worked on an assignment about aligning IT and business objectives. My friend's paper was on Amazon and I for some reason decided to go through it. And I had a eureka moment when her paper answered why Amazon India is called Junglee. She cited a paper titled Customer Fulfillment in the Digital Economy (PDF) that talks about the Information Systems and technologies used by Amazon that have helped the company in strengthening their position in the competitive e-commerce industry. The paper explains the significance of the word Junglee. Here's what Junglee is according to the paper published by Digital 4Sight:

A highly sophisticated XML-based shopping bot, forms the basis of Amazon.com’s New Product Search application

As of now Junglee.com or Amazon India is nothing but an aggregator that has a bot searching for new and similar products. The function of the website and the word's Indian-ness is probably why Amazon India is currently Junglee.com.

So there you have it, Junglee is not a randomly chosen word by Amazon but an old product integral to the company's growth.

Topics: Software Development, Amazon, Browser

About

I completed a diploma in Electronics before finishing a Bachelor's Degree in Electronics and Telecommunications. End-user technologies interest me a lot. Being a news-junkie, following and writing about what's current and interesting is something I enjoy.

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