From the pen of a “pun-ster friend” of
Dr. Surendra Ranade
The Amul group’s turnover crossing ₹50,000 Cr, is a clear case of the ‘Lactic’ going ga’Lactic’ and creating its own ‘Milk’y Way!
It all began in 1946, when some farmers in Kaira District (Gujarat) started developing a kind of ‘lactose intolerance’ to the treatment meted out by Bombay milk supplier, Polson**. Encouraged by Sardar Vallabhbhai, Shri Tribhuvandas Patel and the farmers decided कि हम सब “Milkर” काम करेंगे! With so many cattle at their disposal they decided to ‘गो’ for it. No udder business could have been as good! Soon, they roped in another man, though not exactly of the same (m)ilk – the legendary Verghese Kurien. Together, these ‘cool दूधs’ quickly realised that milk and milk products could be perennial cash “cows” and that the farmers could get to enjoy the ‘cream’. Kurien found his ‘joy’ in આણંદ (Anand) and the rest is history!
I am a great fan of Amul and its numerous Epi’Kurien’ delights. Their ‘Masti’ buttermilk makes one want to say “ये दिल मांगे MORE *”. Their Lassis and Shrikhands are definitely something to ‘दही’ for. And, when it comes to their wide range of chocolates, I must confess that I am the one who buys each bar बार बार. Competitors, in this range of products, may now be trying hard to cross the line playing kabaddi, whereas Amul is busy playing an altogether different game – ‘Cocoa’! When in Ahmedabad, and even now, I often dream of their ice-creams by singing “Cone आया मेरे मन के द्वारे”! Amul even took a ‘scoop’ out of a ‘Veg’ oil based ice cream manufacturer by getting them classify their products as ‘Frozen Desserts’ since clearly, “those lack lactose”.
When it comes to publicity, ‘hordes’ wait for their ‘hoards’ as the daCunhas, along with genius Bharat Dabholkar, do everything to ‘Ad’ to their brand, in an ‘utterly’ creative fashion! (As an aside, one of my very short batchmates was asked to explain the reason for his lack of height. “What to do? I was brought up on condensed milk” was his instant reply!!)
Successive generations of leaders (Kurien, Vyas, Sodhi etc) ने Amul को பால்* ( PAL )^ पोसकर बड़ा किया and, today it has become a part of our basic needs i.e. रोटी कपडा और मक्खन! We commend them (in a positive sense) for making a mountain of ‘Amul’ hill. With 3.6 million farmers, across 18700 villages supplying 23m litres of milk a day (the world largest milk supplier and India’s largest food products supplier), they are not just an Amul Federation, but Amul Fed-a-nation!! We wish them even ‘butter’ days ahead!
** Polsons had exclusive rights for supply of milk to Mumbai
*^ மோர் = more = buttermilk; பால் = पाल = milk
Dr Surendra Ranade NDDB 1978-1993. Later worked as CEO of four milk unions. Currently independent consultant on CSR activities of M/S Pidilite