|Industry||Dairy/fast-moving consumer good (FMCG)|
|Headquarters||Anand, Gujarat, India|
|Rupinder Singh Sodhi (Managing Director)|
|Revenue||₹38,000 crore (US$5.3 billion) (2018-19 )|
Number of employees
|752 (Marketing Arm) |
3.6 million (Milk producing members)
Formed in 1956, it is a cooperative brand managed by a cooperative body, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF), which today is jointly owned by 3.6 million milk producers in Gujarat.
Amul was spearheaded by Tribhuvandas Patel under the guidance of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. As a result, Kaira District Milk Union Limited was born in 1946. Tribhuvandas became the founding chairman of the organization and led it until his death. He hired Dr. Verghese Kurien in 1949. He convinced Dr. Kurien to stay and help with the mission.
Amul cooperative registered on 19 December 1946 as a response to the exploitation of marginal milk producers by traders or agents of n the small city distances to deliver milk, often went sour in summer, to Polson. The prices of milk were arbitrarily determined. The government had given monopoly rights to Polson to collect milk from Kaira and supply it to Mumbai city.
Angered by the unfair trade practices, the farmers of Kaira approached Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel under the leadership of local farmer leader Tribhuvandas K. Patel. He advised them to form a cooperative (Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers' Union) and supply milk directly to the Bombay Milk Scheme instead of Polson (who did the same but gave them low prices). He sent Morarji Desai to organise the farmers. In 1946, the milk farmers of the area went on a strike which led to the setting up of the cooperative to collect and process milk. Milk collection was decentralized, as most producers were marginal farmers who could deliver, at most, 1–2 litres of milk per day. Cooperatives were formed for each village, too. By June 1948, the KDCMPUL had started pasteurizing milk for the 'Bombay Milk Scheme'. Under the selfless leadership of Tribhuvandas Patel, in 1973, Amul celebrated its 25th Anniversary with Morarji Desai, Maniben Patel and Verghese Kurien.
The cooperative was further developed and managed by Dr. Verghese Kurien with H.M. Dalaya. Dalaya's innovation of making skim milk powder from buffalo milk (for the first time in the world) and a little later, with Kurien's help, making it on a commercial scale, led to the first modern dairy of the cooperative at Anand, which would compete against established players in the market. Kurien's brother-in-law K.M. Philip sensitized Kurien to the needs of attending to the finer points of marketing, including the creation and popularization of a brand.
The trio's (T. K. Patel, Kurien and Dalaya's) success at the cooperative's dairy soon spread to Anand's neighbourhood in Gujarat. Within a short span, five unions in other districts – Mehsana, Banaskantha, Baroda, Sabarkantha and Surat – were set up, following the approach sometimes described as the Anand pattern.
In 1970, it spearheaded the White Revolution of India. To combine forces and expand the market while saving on advertising and avoid competing against each other, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd., an apex marketing body of these district cooperatives, was set up in 1973. The Kaira Union, which had the brand name Amul with it since 1955, transferred it to GCMMF.
In 1999, it was awarded the "Best of all" Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award.
Technological developments at Amul have subsequently spread to other parts of India.
The GCMMF is the largest food products marketing organisation of India. It is the apex organisation of the dairy cooperatives of Gujarat. It is the exclusive marketing organisation for products under the brand name of Amul and Sagar. Over the last five and a half decades, dairy cooperatives in Gujarat have created an economic network that links more than 3.1 million village milk products with millions of consumers in India.
On September 30, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Amul's chocolate plant in Mogar, Anand near their headquarters.
UHT products and impactEdit
Over the years, Amul has been witnessing growth in this portfolio, with the segment growing at 53%. Long life UHT products for urban populations, like Amul Taaza, which are packed in Tetra Pak cartons undergo UHT treatment to remove all harmful micro-organisms while retaining the nutrition in the milk. Amul sells around 4,00,000-5,00,000 litres of UHT milk and other value added products per day and forecasts this demand to continue growing at 25%. The UHT products have enabled Amul to position itself as the market leader in packaged milk segment without the need of maintaining cold supply chains.
In 1966, Amul hired Sylvester da Cunha, the managing director of the advertising agency as to design an ad campaign for Amul Butter. DaCunha designed a campaign as series of hoardings with topical ads, relating to day-to-day issues. It was popular and earned a Guinness World Record for the longest running ad campaign in the world. In the 1980s, cartoon artist Kumar Morey and script writer Bharat Dabholkar had been involved with sketching the Amul ads; the latter rejected the trend of using celebrities in advertisement campaigns. Dabholkar credited chairman Verghese Kurien with creating a free atmosphere that fostered the development of the ads.
Despite encountering political pressure on several occasions, DaCunha's agency has made it a policy of not backing down. Some of the more controversial Amul ads include one commenting on the Naxalite uprising in West Bengal, on the Indian Airlines employees strike, and one depicting the Amul girl wearing a Gandhi cap.
In 2013, Amul tweeted a picture featuring the Amul butter girl, implying that 'freedom of choice' died in '2013', in opposition to the Supreme Court of India overruling the judgment of Delhi High Court and criminalising homosexuality again.
On 17 October 2016, Amul butter girl celebrated 50 years when she first appeared in the topical ad titled "Thoroughbread". The ad showed a jockey holding a slice of bread during the horse race season in 1966. The impish Amul girl had appeared for the first time even before that, with Eustace Fernandez showed her offering bedtime prayers with a wink and a lick of lips, saying "Give us this day our daily bread: with Amul butter".
Their Ad on Aagey Badhta Hai India had an excellent response from the audience. It basically spoke about how their Milk is seen as a household product with catchy tune associated to it. It has close to 2 Million views on YouTube.
In popular cultureEdit
The establishment of Amul is known as White Revolution.
The White Revolution inspired the notable Indian film-maker Shyam Benegal to base his film Manthan (1976) on it. The film was financed by over five lakh (half a million) rural farmers in Gujarat who contributed Rs 2 each to its budget. Upon its release, these farmers went in truckloads to watch 'their' film, making it a commercial success. Manthan was chosen for the 1977 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
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- Shyam Benegal at ucla.net South Asia Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
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