Today, India is the largest producer of milk in the world.
Verghese Kurien (26 November 1921 – 9 September 2012) was a renowned Indian social entrepreneur and is best known as the “Father of the White Revolution”, for his ‘billion-litre idea’ (Operation Flood) – the world’s biggest agricultural development programme. The operation took India from being a milk-deficient nation, to the largest milk producer in the world, surpassing the United States of America in 1998, with about 17 percent of global output in 2010–11, which in 30 years doubled the milk available to every person. Dairy farming became India’s largest self-sustaining industry. He made the country self-sufficient in edible oils too later on, taking head-on the powerful and entrenched oil supplying lobby.
He founded around 30 institutions of excellence (like AMUL, GCMMF, IRMA, NDDB) which are owned, managed by farmers and run by professionals. As the founding chairman of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), Kurien was responsible for the creation and success of the Amul brand of dairy products. A key achievement at Amul was the invention of milk powder processed from buffalo milk (abundant in India), as opposed to that made from cow-milk, in the then major milk producing nations. His achievements with the Amul dairy led Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri to appoint him as the founder-chairman of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1965, to replicate Amul’s “Anand model” nationwide. He is regarded as the greatest proponents of the cooperative movement in the world, his work has alleviated millions out of poverty not only in India but also outside.
It was always Amul: The Taste of India. Dr Kurien used to say, “If I have a good product and good advertising, it will sell by itself.”
That’s why Amul is such an iconic brand. In the food industry where brands are constantly coming up with schemes, it has never relied on any schemes to dealers or consumers.
Everything moved; they’ve never dumped. He gave the agency a total free hand and never changed so much as a comma or full stop in the copy.
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