The Udder Success

By on December 06, 2021
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Amul is an idea, vision and sheer determination, created through cooperation, to cater to the taste of the nation. The brand celebrates 75 years in India in 2021, coinciding with the birth centenary of founder Dr Varghese Kurien. VIVA GOA takes a peek into this fabulous story of community success

India’s original milkman: Dr Varghese Kurien

“We have traversed a path that few have dared to, We are continuing on a path that still fewer have the courage to follow,We must pursue a path that even fewer can dream to pursue, Yet, we must; we hold in trust the aims and aspirations of millions of our countrymen.”

As a brand, Amul has been revolutionary in multiple ways. As a dairy cooperative, it rips through the fabric of traditional capitalist monopolists, creating an economic network that spans more than 3.1 million village milk products consumed by millions across India. 

It started out in 1946 as a cooperative brand managed by a cooperative body, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation, but turned into the brand we all know today under the guidance of Dr Verghese Kurien, who joined the organisation in 1949. 

The main aim was to contest the monopoly of milk collection in Kaira, Gujarat which promoted the exploitation of small-scale milk producers by middle men. Dr Kurien, with the support of India’s first deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and local farmer leader Tribhuvandas K Patel, completely revolutionised milk collection, distribution and marketing, kicking off a ‘White Revolution’. They named it Amul, after the Sanskrit word for priceless – amulya. 

Amul launched fresh milk in Goa in 2013, packed at a state-of-the-art plant run in Kundaim. A second dairy was opened two years later, supplying milk procured from Canacona, Quepem, Sanguem and Sattari all across Goa.

With the power of Dr Kurien, dairy farming became India’s largest self-sustaining industry and its largest rural employment sector. He pioneered the model across the country, where 70-80 per cent of the price was paid in cash to dairy farmers, and also made India self-sufficient in edible oils, even as Amul invented the production of milk powder from buffalo milk instead of cow milk, which was in short supply.  

India’s most cherished milk brand celebrates 75 years this year, also coinciding with Dr Kurien’s 100th birth anniversary on November 26. Backed by the father of the White Revolution and the tireless efforts of dairy farmers from Anand in Gujarat, Amul has conquered both stacks in retail stores and the hearts of people of India. This led to its famous tagline as “The taste of India.” Born at Kozhikode (Calicut) in Kerala, Dr Kurien graduated in physics from Loyola College in 1940, in mechanical engineering from College of Engineering in 1943 and from Tata Steel Institute in 1946. He later applied for a scholarship to pursue dairy engineering, but was sent to the National Dairy Institute in Bengaluru for nine months. He finally went to Michigan State University with a government scholarship and returned with a master’s degree in metallurgical engineering and a minor in nuclear physics in 1948. 

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.

Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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