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TypeCooperative society
Founded1946; 75 years ago (1946)
FounderTribhuvandas Patel
HeadquartersAnand, Gujarat, India
Area served
Key people
Rupinder Singh Sodhi (MD)[1]
RevenueIncrease 38,550 crore (US$5.4 billion)[2] (2020)
Number of employees
1,000 (Marketing Arm)
36 lakh (3.6 million) (Milk producing members)[2]

Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative society, based at Anand in the Indian state of Gujarat.[3] Formed in 1946,[4] 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 36 lakh (3.6 million) milk producers in Gujarat, and the apex body of 13 District Milk Unions, spread across 13,000 villages of Gujarat.[5] Amul spurred India's White Revolution, which made the country the world's largest producer of milk and milk products.[6]

Kaira District Milk Union Limited (later renamed to Amul - Anand Milk Union Limited) was founded in 1946[4] through the efforts of Tribhuvandas Patel. Amul's foundation was a significant contributor to the white revolution in India.[7]

Tribhuvandas Patel under the guidance of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel became the founding chairman of the organization and led it until his retirement in the 70s. He hired Dr. Verghese Kurien in 1949. He convinced Dr. Kurien to stay and help with the mission.[8][9] Under the chairmanship of Tribhuvandas, Dr. Kurien was initially the general manager and helped guide the technical and marketing efforts of Amul. Dr. Kurien was the chairman of Amul briefly after Tribhuvandas Patel died in 1994.

Kurien, founder-chairman of the GCMMF for more than 30 years (1973–2006), is credited with the success of Amul's marketing.[10] Amul has ventured into markets overseas.[11]


Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, visits India and Amul with Harichand Megha Dalaya, in December 1980
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, visits India and Amul with Harichand Megha Dalaya, in December 1980

Amul cooperative was registered on 19 December 1946 as a response to the exploitation of marginal milk producers by traders and agents in small cities. The prices of milk were arbitrarily determined at the time. The government had given Polson an effective monopoly in milk collection from Kaira and its subsequent supply to Mumbai.[12][13]

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).[14] 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.[13] Milk collection was decentralized, as most producers were marginal farmers who could deliver, at most, 1–2 liters of milk per day. Cooperatives were formed for each village, too.[15] By June 1948, the KDCMPUL had started pasteurising milk for the Bombay Milk Scheme. Then-Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri visited Anand to inaugurate Amul's cattle feed factory. On October 31, 1964, and spent a night in village and spoke to farmers about their cooperative and after returning to Delhi he set in motion the creation of an organisation, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), to replicate the Kaira cooperative in other parts of India.[16] Under the selfless leadership of Tribhuvandas Patel, in 1973, Amul celebrated its 25th Anniversary with Morarji Desai, Maniben Patel and Verghese Kurien.[4]

The cooperative was further developed and managed by Dr. Verghese Kurien[4] (known as the "Father of the White Revolution" in India) with H. M. Dalaya. Dalaya's innovation of making skim milk powder from buffalo milk was a technological breakthrough that revolutionized India's organized dairy industry.[17]

With Kurien's help, the process was expanded on a commercial scale[4] which led to the first modern dairy of the cooperative at Anand. This cooperative would go on to compete against established players in the market.[18]

The Amul plant at Anand, Gujarat showing the milk silos

The trio's (T. K. Patel, Kurien and Dalaya's) success at the cooperative's dairy soon spread to Anand's neighborhood 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.[13]

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.[19]

In 1999, it was awarded the "Best of all" Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award.[20]

Technological developments at Amul have subsequently spread to other parts of India.

The GCMMF is the largest food products marketing organisation in 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 31 lakh (3.1  million) village milk products with crores of consumers in India. In 2007, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd., crossed US$ one Billion in its sales turnover and entered the elite club of food companies having this distinction from India.[21] In one more major achievement, the dairy cooperatives of Gujarat under the GCMMF fold crossed milk procurement of 100 lakh kgs. per day mark on 27 December 2007, which is the highest ever milk procurement achieved by any dairy network in India, be it private or cooperative and the entire quantity of milk received was accepted without any milk holidays and was processed successfully into milk and other milk products.[21]

On September 30, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Amul's chocolate plant in Mogar, Anand near their headquarters. The new plant has been built with an increased capacity of 1,000 tonnes per month against the earlier 250 tonnes a month capacity. GCMMF has invested around ₹300 crores for this project. It is a fully automated production factory with minimal human intervention.[22]

UHT products and impact[edit]

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.[23] In the year 2019, Amul celebrated 73 years in existence and is currently India's biggest FMCG or Food organization with an Annual turnover exceeding Rs 50000 cr ($7 billion).[4]


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.[24] 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 scriptwriter 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.[25]

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 the Delhi High Court and criminalising homosexuality again.[26]

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".[27]

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 over 39 lakh (~4 million) views on YouTube.[28]

In February 2020, Amul posted a picture of the Amul girl treating Joaquin Phoenix with butter after his academy award win for his role in the 2019 film, Joker.[29] Since Phoenix is a vegan, Amul faced criticism and trolls from vegans in India and from PETA for the poor knowledge of his vegan activism and life.

Amul posted a picture of its mascot Butter Girl celebrating with PV Sindhu for winning the bronze medal in Tokyo Olympics in August 2021.[30]

In popular culture[edit]

The establishment of Amul is known as the White Revolution.

The White Revolution inspired the notable Indian filmmaker 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 ₹2 each to its budget. Upon its release, these farmers went in truckloads to watch 'their' film, making it a commercial success.[31][32] Manthan won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi during the 24th National Film Awards in 1977.


In August 2019, Amul became the first Indian dairy company to enter Rabobank's Global Top 20 Dairy Companies list.[33]

See also[edit]

  • Anikspray, a competitive brand developed by Lipton and HLL, and later sold to other companies


  1. ^ "Shri Amit Vyas – NDDB Foundation for Nutrition". Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (AMUL) achieves turnover of Rs. 52000 crore 7billion croreswith 17% growth" (PDF). Amul. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  3. ^ Alexander Fraser Laidlaw. Cooperatives and the Poor. A development study prepared for the International Cooperative Alliance and the Canadian International Development Agency, 1977. The co-operative was initially referred to as Anand Milk Federation Union Limited,AMUL hence the name AMUL.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Amul remembers Tribhuvandas on his birth anniversary". Indian Cooperative. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  5. ^ The Amul Story – General Management Review Archived 4 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Retrieved on 2015-11-29.
  7. ^ DAMODARAN, HARISH (13 September 2012). "The Amul trinity". Retrieved 13 January 2021. The original credit goes to Dalaya — something that Kurien always acknowledged, and reiterated when the former passed away on September 12, 2004. While Patel dealt with the farmers, and Dalaya took charge of the technical and internal affairs of the dairy, “my role was only in marketing, external affairs and handling politicians, bureaucrats and other establishment people," the ever-frank Kurien admitted at the time. In Anand, it was said that if Patel was the Father of Amul, Kurien was the Son, and Dalaya the Holy Ghost.
  8. ^ Heredia, Ruth (1997). The Amul India Story. New Delhi: Tata Mc-Graw Hill. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-07-463160-7.
  9. ^ Misra, Udit (10 September 2012). "V. Kurien: India's White Knight". Forbes India. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  10. ^ Dasgupta, Manas (9 September 2012). "Kurien strode like a titan across the bureaucratic barriers and obstacles". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  11. ^ Srinivas, Nidhi Nath. "Amul's world's biggest vegetarian cheese brand exports cheese to the US, Middle East, Singapore, Hong Kong with sales estimated to touch 600 tonne in 2005". The Economic Times. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  12. ^ George, Shanti (1985). Operation flood: an appraisal of current Indian pairy policy. Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-561679-8.
  13. ^ a b c Heredia, Ruth (1997). The Amul India story. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill.
  14. ^ Suhrud, Tridip (8 April 2006). "The magic of manthan". Tehelka. Archived from the original on 11 November 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  15. ^ Thapar, Romila (2001). "Seminar, Issues 497–508". Seminar.
  16. ^ Gupta, Sharad. "Remembering Verghese Kurien – India's first milkman". businessline. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  17. ^ Kurien, Verghese (2007). "India' s Milk Revolution: Investing in Rural Producer Organizations". In Narayan, Deepa; Glinskaya, Elena (eds.). Ending Poverty in South Asia: Ideas that work. Washington D.C., USA: (The World Bank). p. 47. ISBN 978-0-8213-6876-3. Retrieved 13 January 2021. If there was one technological breakthrough that revolutionized India's organized dairy industry, it was the making of skim milk powder out of buffalo milk. The man who made this possible and who had the foresight to defy the prevailing technical wisdom was H. M. Dalaya.
  18. ^ "Economic and political weekly, Volume 6, Part 4". Economic and Political Weekly. 6. 1971.
  19. ^ The Cheese Industry in India. Chillibreeze.
  20. ^ SHRAWAN (29 May 2013). "Annex iv: list of award winners of Rajiv Gandhi national quality awards" (PDF). New Delhi: Bureau of Indian Standards. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  21. ^ a b "GCMMF Milk Procurement Crosses 100 Lakh Kgs Per Day". 28 December 2007. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  22. ^ Pathak, Maulik (30 September 2018). "PM Modi inaugurates LNG terminal, chocolate factory in Gujarat". Live Mint. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  23. ^ Amul UHT: On a Quest for Zero adulterated milk | Watch the video – Yahoo India Archived 2 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2015-11-29.
  24. ^ Varma, Mini. "The moppet who put Amul on India's breakfast table". Amul. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  25. ^ Rao, Subha J. (15 December 2007). "Punch guru". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  26. ^ "Brands peek out of the closet – The Times of India". The Times Of India.
  27. ^ "In pics Fifty years on, Amul's 'utterly butterly' girl is still a delight". NewsKarnataka. 17 October 2016.
  28. ^ Amul The Taste of India (10 July 2015), Amul Milk – Aage Badta Hai India, retrieved 9 April 2019
  29. ^ "Amul smears butter on vegan Joaquin Phoenix's face in an ad celebrating Oscar win, gets slammed by PETA". Hindustan Times. Indo Asian News Service. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  30. ^ Chadda, Shivam (16 December 2019). "The Curious Case of Amul – How the brand came into existence". Brandzwatch. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  31. ^ NDTV movies NDTV.
  32. ^ Shyam Benegal at South Asia Studies, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
  33. ^ "Amul becomes first Indian dairy company to be in Rabobank's Global Top 20 list; Nestle leads". The Financial Express (India). 29 August 2020.

External links[edit]