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This article is about the Indian dairy cooperative. For the ancient city of Āmul along the Oxus, see Türkmenabat. For the city in Iran, see Amol.
Amul (Anand Milk Union Limited)
Industry Dairy/FMCG
Founded 1946
Headquarters Anand, Gujarat, India
Key people
Chairman, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF)
Products See complete products listing
Revenue Increase US$3.1 billion (2013–14)
Number of employees
750 employees of Marketing Arm. However, real pool consist of 3 million milk producer members[1]
Slogan The Taste of India
The Amul Plant at Anand showing the milk silos

Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative, based at Anand in the state of Gujarat, India.[2] The word amul (अमूल) is derived from the Sanskrit word amulya (अमूल्य), meaning rare, valuable .[3] The co-operative was initially referred to as Anand Milk Federation Union Limited hence the name AMUL.

Formed in 1946, it is a brand managed by a cooperative body, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF), which today is jointly owned by 3 million milk producers in Gujarat.[4]

Amul spurred India's White Revolution, which made the country the world's largest producer of milk and milk products.[5] In the process Amul became the largest food brand in India and has ventured into markets overseas.

Dr. Verghese Kurien, founder-chairman of the GCMMF for more than 30 years (1973–2006), is credited with the success of Amul.[6]


Amul the co-operative registered on 1 December 1946 as a response to the exploitation of marginal milk producers by traders or agents of the only existing dairy, the Polson dairy, in the small city distances to deliver milk, which often went sour in summer, to Polson. The prices of milk were arbitrarily determined. Moreover, the government had given monopoly rights to Polson to collect milk from mikka and supply it to Bombay city.[7][8]

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 and supply milk directly to the Bombay Milk Scheme instead of Polson (who did the same but gave them low prices).[9] 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.[8] 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.[10]

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,[11] 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. This led to the search for an attractive brand name. In a brainstorming session, a chemist who worked in the dairy laboratory suggested Amul, which came from the Sanskrit word "amulya", which means "priceless" and "denoted and symbolised the pride of swadeshi production."[12]

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.[8] To combine forces and expand the market while saving on advertising and avoid competing against each other, the GCMMF, 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.[13]

In 1999, it was awarded the "Best of all" Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award.[14]

Adding to the success, Dr. Madan Mohan Kashyap (faculty Agricultural and Engineering Department, Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana), Dr. Bondurant (visiting faculty) and Dr Feryll (former student of Dr Verghese Kurien), visited the Amul factory in Gujarat as a research team headed by Dr. Bheemsen & Shivdayal Pathak (ex-director of the Sardar Patel Renewable Energy Research Institute) in the 1960s. A milk pasteurization system at the Research Centre of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana was then formed under the guidance of Kashyap.

About GCMMF[edit]

Main article: GCMMF

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.[15] 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.[citation needed] The daily milk procurement of GCMMF is around 13 million liters per day. It collects milk from about 16914 village milk cooperative societies, 17 member unions and 24 districts covering about 3.18 million milk producer members. More than 70% of the members are small or marginal farmers and landless labourers including a sizeable population of tribal folk and people belonging to the scheduled castes.[15]

The three-tier "Amul Model"[edit]

The Amul Model is a three-tier cooperative structure. This structure consists of a dairy cooperative society at the village level affiliated to a milk union at the district level which in turn is federated into a milk federation at the state level. Milk collection is done at the village dairy society, milk procurement and processing at the District Milk Union and milk products marketing at the state milk federation. The structure was evolved at Amul in Gujarat and thereafter replicated all over the country under the Operation Flood programme. It is known as the 'Amul Model' or 'Anand Pattern' of dairy cooperatives.

The main functions of the VDCS are:

  • Collection of surplus milk from the producers of the village and payment based on quality and quantity,
  • Providing support services to the members like veterinary first aid, artificial insemination services, cattle-feed sales, mineral mixture sales, fodder and fodder seed sales, conducting training on animal husbandry and dairying,
  • Selling liquid milk for local consumers of the village,
  • Supplying milk to the District Milk Union.

State Cooperative Milk Federation (Federation)[edit]

The main functions of the federation are as follows:

  • Marketing of milk and milk products processed/manufactured by Milk Unions,
  • Establish a distribution network for marketing of milk and milk products,
  • Arranging transportation of milk and milk products from the Milk Unions to the market,
  • Creating and maintaining a brand for marketing of milk & milk products,
  • Providing support services to the Milk Unions and members like technical inputs, management support and advisory services,
  • Pooling surplus milk from the Milk Unions and supplying it to deficit Milk Unions,
  • Establish feeder-balancing dairy plants for processing the surplus milk of the Milk Unions,
  • Arranging for common purchase of raw materials used in manufacture/packaging of milk products,
  • Decide on the prices of milk and milk products to be paid to Milk Unions,
  • Decide on the products to be manufactured at Milk Unions and capacity required for the same.
  • Conduct long-term milk production, procurement and processing as well as marketing planning.
  • Arranging finance for the Milk Unions and providing them technical know-how.
  • Designing and providing training in cooperative development and technical and marketing functions.
  • Conflict resolution and keeping the entire structure intact.

Today, there are around 176 cooperative dairy unions formed by 125,000 dairy cooperative societies, having a total membership of around 13 million farmers on the same pattern, who are processing and marketing milk and milk products profitably, be it Amul in Gujarat or Verka in Punjab, Vijaya in Andhra Pradesh, Milma in Kerala, Gokul in Maharashtra, Saras in Rajasthan or a Nandini in Karnataka. This process has created more than 190 dairy processing plants spread all over India with large investments by these farmers' institutions. These cooperatives today collect approximately 23 million kg of milk per day and pay an aggregate amount of more than Rs. 125 billion to the milk producers in a year.[citation needed]

Impact of the "Amul Model"[edit]

The effects of Operation Flood Programme are appraised by the World Bank in an evaluation report. It has been proved that an investment of Rs. 20 billion over 20 years under Operation Flood in the 1970s and 80s has contributed in increase of India’s milk production by 40 million metric tonnes (MMT), i.e., from about 20 MMT pre-Operation Flood to more than 60 MMT at the end of Operation Flood.

Thus, an incremental return of Rs. 400 billion annually have been generated by an investment of Rs. 20 billion over 20 years. India’s milk production continues to increase and now stands at 90 MMT(as of 2012). Despite this fourfold increase in production, there has not been a drop in the prices of milk during the period while production has continued to grow.

Due to this movement, the country’s milk production tripled between the years 1971 and 1996. Similarly, the per capita milk consumption doubled from 111 gm per day in 1973 to 222 gm per day in 2000.

The Amul brand[edit]

GCMMF (AMUL) has the largest distribution network for any FMCG company. It has nearly 50 sales offices spread all over the country, more than 5000 wholesale dealers and more than 700000 retailers.

Amul became the world's largest vegetarian cheese[16] and the largest pouched-milk brand.

AMUL is also the largest exporter of dairy products in the country. AMUL is available today in over 40 countries of the world. AMUL is exporting a wide variety of products which include whole and skimmed milk powder, cottage cheese (Paneer), UHT milk, clarified butter (Ghee) and indigenous sweets.

The major markets are USA, West Indies, and countries in Africa, the Gulf Region, and SAARC neighbours, Singapore, The Philippines, Thailand, Japan and China, and others such as Mauritius, Australia, Hong Kong and a few South African countries. Its bid to enter the Japanese market in 1994 did not succeed, but it plans to venture again.[17]

In September 2007, Amul emerged as the leading Indian brand according to a survey by Synovate to find out Asia's top 1000 Brands.[18]

In 2013, Amul was named the Most Trusted brand in the Food and Beverages sector in The Brand Trust Report, published by Trust Research Advisory,[19] where as in the 2014 edition of The Brand Trust Report,[20] Amul is ranked 7th in the list of India's Most Trusted Food and Beverages brands.


Amul's product range includes milk powders, milk, butter, ghee, cheese, Masti Dahi, Yoghurt, Buttermilk, chocolate, ice cream, cream, shrikhand, paneer, gulab jamuns, flavoured milk, basundi, Amul Pro brand and others. Amul PRO is a recently launched brown beverage just like bournvita and horlicks offering whey protein, DHA and essential nutrients. In January 2006, Amul launched India's first sports drink, Stamina, which competes with Coca Cola's Powerade and PepsiCo's Gatorade.[21]

Amul offers mithaimate which competes with Milkmaid by Nestle by offering more fat at lower price.

In August 2007, Amul introduced Kool Koko, a chocolate milk brand extending its product offering in the milk products segment. Other Amul brands are Amul Kool, a low-calorie thirst quenching drink; Masti Butter Milk; and Kool Cafe, ready to drink coffee.

Amul's icecreams are made from milk fat and thus are icecreams in real sense of the word, while many brands in India sell frozen desserts made from vegetable fat.

Amul's sugar-free Pro-Biotic Ice-cream won The International Dairy Federation Marketing Award for 2007.[citation needed]

UHT products and impact[edit]

Over the years Amul has been witnessing strong growth in this portfolio,with the segment growing at 53%,[22] as a result of growing consumer awareness and demand for good quality milk,the urban population has especially been showing great interest in long life UHT products like Amul Taaza,which are packed in Tetra Pak cartons,which undergoes UHT treatment to remove all harmful micro-organisms while retaining the nutrition in the milk.Today Amul sells around 4-500,000 litres of UHT milk and other value added products per day and forecast this demand to continue growing at 25%.The UHT products have enabled Amul to position itself as the market leader in packaged milk segment by penetrating the deeper and vast markets by maintaining long shelf life of milk,without the need of maintaining cold supply chains.[23]

Any Time Milk (ATM) Machine[edit]

Amul has installed a "Any Time Milk" machine which dispenses a 300-ml pouch of fresh milk for Rs 10, at Anand's Amul Dairy. As a first step, Amul plans to install six such ATMs in Anand itself. According to Rahul Kumar, MD of Amul Dairy, Amul wants to add a whole range of dairy products, which could be dispensed through these machines.[24]


An Amul butter ad on Pakistan's Kargil War fiasco. The image shows the "Amul baby" between George Fernandes and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

In 1966, Amul hired Sylvester, then 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.[25] 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.[26]

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 butter girl wearing a Gandhi cap.[25]

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.[27]

Amul hired DraftFCB+Ulka for the brands of Amul milk, chocolates, paneer, ghee, ice-cream.

In popular culture[edit]

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. It starred Smita Patil, Girish Karnad, Naseeruddin Shah and Amrish Puri. The film was financed by over five lakh 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.[28][29] Manthan was chosen for the 1977 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Alexander Fraser Laidlaw. Cooperatives and the Poor. A development study prepared for the International Cooperative Alliance and the Canadian International Development Agency, 1977.
  3. ^ Amul – The Taste of India. "Welcome to Amul – The Taste of India". Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  4. ^ The Amul Story – General Management Review[dead link]
  5. ^
  6. ^ Dasgupta, Manas (9 September 2012). "‘Kurien strode like a titan across the bureaucratic barriers and obstacles’". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  7. ^ George, Shanti (1985). Operation flood: an appraisal of current Indian dairy policy. Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-561679-8. 
  8. ^ a b c Heredia, Ruth (1997). The Amul India story. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill. 
  9. ^ Suhrud, Tridip (8 April 2006). "The magic of manthan". Tehelka. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  10. ^ Thapar, Romila (2001). "Seminar, Issues 497–508". Seminar. 
  11. ^ "Economic and political weekly, Volume 6, Part 4". Economic and Political Weekly 6. 1971. 
  12. ^ Verghese Kurien. I too had a dream. As told to Gouri Salvi, Lotus Collection (An Imprint of Roli Books), 2005(2007).
  13. ^ The Cheese Industry in India. Chillibreeze. 
  14. ^ SHRAWAN (2013-05-29). "ANNEX IV: LIST OF AWARD WINNERS OF RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL QUALITY AWARDS" (PDF). New Delhi: Bureau of Indian Standards. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  15. ^ a b [3]
  16. ^ Economic Times
  17. ^ Amul hopes to flow into Japanese market
  18. ^'s%20Top%201000%20brands%20fact%20sheet.pdf
  19. ^; "India's top 20 brands: Amul is No. 1"
  20. ^ "Brand Trust Report 2014". Trust Research Advisory. 
  21. ^ Amul ready to take on Pepsi, Coke in sports drink segment
  22. ^ "AMUL upgrades processing through Tetra Pak's high-speed lines". The Times Of India. 10 September 2013. 
  23. ^ [4]
  24. ^ [5]
  25. ^ a b Varma, Mini. "The moppet who put Amul on India's breakfast table". Amul. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  26. ^ Rao, Subha J. (15 December 2007). "Punch guru". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  27. ^ "Brands peek out of the closet - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  28. ^ NDTV movies NDTV.
  29. ^ Shyam Benegal at South Asia Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

External links[edit]