|Chairman, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF)|
|Products||See complete products listing|
|Revenue||US$3.4 billion (2014–15)|
Number of employees
|750 employees of Marketing Arm & 3.6 million milk producer members|
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 ownned by 3.6 million milk producers in Gujarat.
Amul spurred India's White Revolution, which made the country the world's largest producer of milk and milk products. In the process Amul became the largest food brand in India and has ventured into markets overseas.
Amul-operative registered on 14 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.
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). 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.
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. 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."
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. 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.
In 1999, it was awarded the "Best of all" Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award.
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 at Anand 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. The 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. Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF), is India's largest food product marketing organisation with annual turnover (2014–15) US$3.4 billion. Its daily milk procurement is approx 14.85 million lit per day from 18,536 village milk cooperative societies, 17 member unions covering 33 districts, and 3.37 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.
The three-tier "Amul Model"
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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 .
Amul's product range includes milk powders, milk, butter, ghee, cheese, dahi, yoghurt, buttermilk, chocolate, ice cream, cream, shrikhand, paneer, gulab jamuns, flavoured milk, basundi and others. Amul PRO is a recently launched brown beverage. In January 2006, Amul launched India's first sports drink, Stamina.
Amul offers Mithai Mate which competes with Milkmaid by Nestle.
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, instead of from vegetable fat.
Amul's sugar-free Pro-Biotic Ice-cream won The International Dairy Federation Marketing Award for 2007.
UHT products and impact
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, which undergoes UHT treatment to remove all harmful micro-organisms while retaining the nutrition in the milk. 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 without the need of maintaining cold supply chains.
Any Time Milk (ATM) Machine
Amul has installed a "Any Time Milk" machine which dispenses a milk pouch, at Anand's Amul Dairy. Amul plans to install six such ATMs in Anand. According to Dr. K Rathnam, MD of Amul Dairy, Amul wants to add a whole range of dairy products, which could be dispensed through these machines.
In 1966, Amul hired Sylvester daCunha, 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. 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 butter 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 October 17, 2016, Amul butter Girl celebrated 50 years when she first appeared in the tropical ad titled "Thoroughbread". The Ad showed a jockey holding a slice of bread during the horse race season in 1966.The impish Amul missy had appeared for the first time even before that, with Eustace Fernandez showed her offering bed-time prayers with a wink and a lick of lips, saying “Give us this day our daily bread: with Amul butter”. But the topical hits started flowing in since 1966.
In popular culture
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. Manthan was chosen for the 1977 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
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