AMUL- THE TASTE OF INDIA- by Dr. Jyoti Yadav
28th Dec, 2018
AMUL means "priceless" and derives its name from Sanskrit word ‘Amoolya’. The Amul revolution was started as awareness among the farmers. It grew and matured into a protest movement that was channelled towards economic prosperity.
Amul began the dairy cooperative movement in India and formed an apex cooperative organization, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF), which today is jointly owned by some 2.2 million milk producers in Gujarat, India.
It is based in Anand town of Gujarat and has been a sterling example of a co-operative organization's success in the long term. The Amul Pattern has established itself as a uniquely appropriate model for rural development. Amul has spurred the White Revolution of India, which has made India one of the largest milk producers in the world.
Dr. Verghese Kurien, founder chairman of Gujarat cooperative milk marketing federation, is the man behind the success of AMUL.
HOW IT ALL STARTED:
Over five decades ago, the life of an average farmer in Kheda District was precarious. Their income came almost entirely from seasonal crops as income from milk was undependable. Private traders and middlemen controlled the marketing and distribution system for the milk. Milk being perishable, farmers were compelled to sell it for throwaway prices.
Amul was the result of the realization that they could pool up their milk and work as a cooperative, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) in the village of Anand.
- Low-cost price strategy to make its products affordable and attractive to consumers, guaranteeing them value for money.
- Maintaining balance between supply and demand, effective management of the network, and focus on commercial viability.
- Retaining their focus on farmers and forming a strong and healthy supply chain.
- Catchy advertisement through tongue-in-cheek sketches featuring amul baby, with the equally recognizable tagline Utterly Butterly Delicious Amul.
For the purposes above, a hierarchical network of cooperatives was developed. The vast and complex supply chain stretches from small suppliers to large fragmented markets.
INITIATIVES BY AMUL:
- One of the first examples of e-commerce activity in India: - In 1990s, Amul was one of the first major organizations in India to have a website which has been used both to develop an intranet of Amul distributors as well as a cyber-store for consumers.
- Focus on Total Quality Management (TQM) following the trends of liberalization and impact of WTO. Amul extended the TQM initiatives to its business partners, whether it was the farmer producer in the village or a wholesale distributor in a metro town, helping in integration of its business linkages at the village level to the forward linkage.
INNOVATION AT GRASS ROOTS:
- A unique initiative called the Internet Sewa Project in the district called Banaskantha. This is a village-level effort at bridging the Digital Divide by providing information kiosks at the Village Cooperative level.
- Awareness created by GCMMF through movie- MANTHAN, theme of which is the churning up of the social structure when the milk cooperative movement erodes the power of traditional bosses in a village.
- Social Awareness programs through works of Amul Relief Trust like school education, earthquake relief works, etc.
LESSONS FROM AMUL:
- Importance of cooperative societies towards farmer and women emancipation along with social upliftment of the weaker sections of the society.
- Emulation of the concept in other areas like Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) for increasing the bargaining power of farmers in the market and increasing their access to the quality inputs.
- Sense of ownership and belongingness among the participants for success of an organization or a program, eg. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Self Help Groups, etc.
- Importance of organizational democracy, positive work culture, and focus on quality management and end-customers for long-term growth and development of an organization.
- Importance of up-dation with time and adoption of latest technology for staying relevant in the field.
- Value of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)