Posted in Finance Articles, Total Reads: 916
, Published on 13 September 2015
When a trickle joins another, it forms a stream; when a stream joins another it forms a tributary and when a tributary joins another it gives birth to a river. This is the story of Amul – the taste of India. When the farmers and milkmen of Anand town in Kaira district in Gujarat realized that they were being robbed of their milk’s real worth by the middlemen, they formed a union. The union was named Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd, in 1946. This group was supported by Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. It was further united by Morarji Desai, who later on went on to be Prime Minister of India. It was ably led by the leadership of farmer leader Tribhuvandas Patel.
The Kaira Union came to be known as Amul by the villagers started with trade of mere 250 litres of milk. The Cooperative was further managed and developed by Dr.Verghese Kurien along with H.M. Dalaya. Dalaya's innovation of making skim milk powder from buffalo milk for the first time anywhere in the world and a little later, along with Kurien's help, made it on a commercial scale. It led to the first modern dairy at Anand, which would successfully compete against already established companies.
The trio's (T. K. Patel, Kurien and Dalaya's) triumph at the cooperative’s dairy soon extends to Anand's vicinity in Gujarat. In a short span it was spread to five unions in other districts of Gujarat. The districts were Surat, Banaskantha, Baroda, Mehsana, and Sabarkantha. In order to expand the market and saving on advertising. GCMMF, a marketing body was established in 1973. The Kaira Union established in 1955 was transferred to GCMMF.
Image: company website
Today Amul is India’s largest food brand, with annual turnover of over 18000 crores in 2013-14 with a growth rate of 32%. With various technological and marketing innovations, Amul could reach an impressive figure of 23% Cumulative average growth rate over the last 6 years. With present figures they also ensured that farmers are benefitted by raising 59 % milk procurement price which resulted in an increase of 46 % in milk procurement during the same period. Similar trends were also observed in other Amul products such as Ghee, Cream, Milk beverages with increase of 47%, 37% and 25% respectively. It also showed growth in Amul Butter and Amul Cheese with growth figures of 21 % and 22 %.
Amul is known for its marketing. Amul has led one of India’s most sophisticated, successful and longest running advertising campaign. It was started back in 1966 by Advertising and Sales promotion for their Advertisement campaign. The onus was taken by Sylvester da Cunha and mischievous mascot girl was confirmed with basic vision of easy to draw and making it memorable. The Amul baby in Polka dots is probably the most recognisable fictional character in Indian television. Somehow it fails to die down and has remained relevant even after 4 decades of its inception. Every national and international news has an Amul side to it and its punch line “Amul – The taste of India” , is one having a very high recall value.
Amul Advertisements seen with similar charm which existed 50 years back. Advertisement is a success because it is easily related with day to day affairs. It has made its presence in all areas such as politics, sports, economy, Movies, Science. It easily reflects current affairs in these areas with Amul products. People correlate these and are attracted more towards Amul.
Politics is one of the favourite areas which these advertisements tend to cover. One of the most amazing memory was of these ads was during Emergency in mid-1970s with Sanjay Gandhi’s mass sterilization campaign spread across our country. Hoardings showcased a cartoon of a nurse with lip smacked holding a slab of butter with words “We have always practised compulsory sterilization “. Another political incident which was turned into a joke was a cartoon of Lalu Prasad Yadav sitting on fodder with cow eye on a buttered slice of bread with hilarious words as ‘ Fodder of the nation’ and a message of Scamul. The recent Advertisements of AAPrajit with Aap winning Delhi Elections and Anna Hazare’s ‘Kha Na Hazare’ at time of Anshan can be easily mesmerized.
Amul spend mere 1 %of its revenue in advertising, still it is known for one of the best advertising campaign. Its success lies not only in its strategy but also in its history when it was established. Amul is perhaps the finest example of indigenous solutions to problems that seem insurmountable at a certain point of time. The fact that a co-operative of 3 million farmers and milkmen has made India, the largest producer of dairy products in the world is still hard to believe. However, its success lies in the fact that it treats each and every farmer as an owner; it has taught the society to accept the equity of women and it believes in inclusive growth of its employees.
This article has been authored by Mayank Bhatia from IIM Kashipur