Today, India is the largest producer of milk in the world.
There was a time in Mumbai when milk was not easily available. The government diary in Worli was not able to meet the requirement of the large population of Mumbai. The Dudhwala Bhaiyas were supplying milk to only a few at very high price. While in a city like Mumbai the problem was grave, other cities were also not much better off. That was the time when a visionary leader and an excellent manager came to Anand, a small town in Gujarat. Unmistakably, he is remembered as the one who changed the ‘Milk scene of India’. On this Day, 9th September in 2012, he left this world leaving all the great memories of the stupendous task. I give below some details of his life and work as described in Wikipedia.
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.
Based on the brief, we took the script and music to him and it was approved immediately. He was a proud Indian who always wanted original Indian advertising. After that, even as they launched a number of other products they never had to do separate advertising.
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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