Brain behind the brand

By on December 06, 2021
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Brain behind the brand

VIVA GOA speaks to the current pillar of Amul DR RUPINDER SINGH SODHI in an exclusive interview about the brand, his journey and more

From a small village to leading India’s biggest dairy brand, Dr Rupinder Singh Sodhi has seen it all. The managing director of Amul took over the reins in 2010, but was worked his way up with the stalwarts since he joined the company in 1982. During his tenure, he has launched more than 50 new products in the market. Dr Sodhi has spearheaded many highly innovative and widely acclaimed marketing campaigns with Amul including the promotion of milk as the world’s original energy drink, the ‘eat milk’ campaign for youth to include dairy products in every meal, and the “Amul doodh peeta hai India” campaign. 

Hailing from Ratta Khera village in Ferozepur, Punjab, Dr Sodhi graduated in agricultural engineering from the College of Technology and Engineering in Udaipur and later joined the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) to pursue rural management. He has received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris-Causa) from Anand Agriculture University. 

He discusses brand Amul, his journey in the industry and his thoughts on Goa in this exclusive interview with VIVA GOA. 


The central government recently introduced a new Ministry of Cooperation. With Amul as an example, what are the strengths of cooperatives?

We are grateful to the prime minister and his government for recognising the importance of cooperatives in our country. We are equally happy that the home minister has been chosen to lead the Ministry of Cooperation. Both leaders 

are familiar with the cooperatives having spent a significant time of their careers with Amul and its cooperatives in Gujarat. 

Cooperatives are an instrument of socio-economic development for farmers as they ensure ownership and benefits of the produce to the farmer. Their strength lies in the collective participation of all members, and this further ensures trust and confidence in the system. At Amul, over the last 75 years, we have built a community of 3.6 million farmers across 18,600 cooperatives in Gujarat. Most of our farmers are marginalised and landless, and thus cooperatives have ensured they receive daily income through dairy farming.

Tell us about your interactions with Dr Verghese Kurien, the pioneer of brand Amul.

I was very fortunate to have studied in the first batch of IRMA which was started by Dr Kurien. Later on, I started working at Amul and had the good fortune of working under him. I continue to look up to him as my mentor and whenever I am in doubt, I try to think of how he would have resolved the problem. 

Dr Kurien always believed in finding solutions to problems or opportunities in challenges. I follow this mantra even today. For example, when the world was in lockdown during Covid-19, we took the opportunity to serve the nation by ensuring our products remain available to all consumers. 

Amul has diversified its product portfolio with chocolates, biscuits, sweets, and drinks. How has this come about?

Amul is the Taste of India, and we are a dairy cooperative which works to protect the interests of our farmers and fulfil the needs of our consumer. Our mission is ‘value for money’ and ‘value for many’. This mantra has helped us provide products at an affordable price and socio-economic benefits to our farmers.

We diversified to produce chocolate in the 1970s when the cocoa farmers of Karnataka and Kerala region (CAMPCO) reached out to Dr Kurien to protect them from exploitation by multinational corporations. We launched Amul Chocolates in 1973 and continue to sell the range by procuring cocoa from them.

We have also diversified to bakery products, sweets, and drinks as these were categories in which the consumer was being exploited by various brands. For example, most butter cookies sold in the market had less than two per cent butter in them while Amul butter cookies contain 25 per cent butter. 

Fresh sweets are another category wherein the consumer had lost faith in the products as adulteration was rampant. Amul launched products in this space with quality ingredients that are dairy-based.We will continue to expand this range of products, but our core focus will always remain in dairy.

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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