By Ishan Arora:
‘Where there is unity, there is always victory.’
Proving the validity of the above-mentioned quote is a company that changed the entire milk procurement process and spurred the White Revolution in India.
A company that was founded by a few farmers with a mission to stop the exploitation by middlemen, gradually became the biggest brand in the nation. A brand that not only changed the lives of many poor farmers but also took our nation to new heights. Let’s analyse the story of a brand that grew from being an infinitesimal firm to a huge brand – ‘Amul –The Taste of India.’
It all started 65 years ago when poor farmers who worked hard, day in and day out were exploited by the local traders and given small incentives. Angered by unfair and manipulative practices followed by local traders, the farmers under the leadership of Tribhuvandas Patel approached Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to resolve their grievances.
Empathising with the farmers, Patel Ji advised them to be self-sustaining entrepreneurs and work for themselves. The farmers took the advice seriously and formed their own cooperative societies. What started with only a few farmers producing 247 litres of milk grew into a fully fledged organisation with more than 3.6 million milk producers producing around 14.85 million litres per day (Data till 2015).
The Amul girl is the advertising mascot used by the company to promote the brand. The brand has been cleverly using the cartoon figure in its longest running ad campaign, to instil an element of humour into its print ads. The content is liked by the people and results in better customer engagement. This increases the brand recall value for Amul. Hence, the Amul girl advertising campaign is often described as one of the best Indian advertising concepts.
Amul has constantly been innovating – be it launching new products, creative marketing campaigns or challenging traditional societal trends to come up with better ones.
In the 1960’s, Amul became the first brand in the world to make skimmed milk powder from buffalo milk. Also with its three-tiered cooperative structure, Amul changed from traditional operations to a more cost-efficient and effective structure.
For its continuous innovation, the brand won the “CNN-IBN Innovating for Better Tomorrow Award” and “World Dairy Innovation Award” in the year 2014.
Amul follows the Branded House Architecture way, wherein whatever they promote; they promote it under one common brand name – Amul. The prime focus is on promoting the parent brand rather than individual products which helps them gain more brand visibility and results in lesser marketing and advertising costs.
Amul follows a three-tier cooperative structure which consists of a dairy cooperative society at the village level that is affiliated with milk unions at the district level which in turn is federated to a milk federation at the state level. Milk is collected at the village dairy society, procured and processed at the district milk union and marketed at the state milk federation.
The greatness of this model lies in the fact that Amul was the first company to follow this model, and it was replicated all over the country under Operation Flood in the 1970’s. The model ensures that there’s efficiency and swiftness in operations.
The Amul model has helped India become the largest milk producer in the world.
With its diversified product portfolio, Amul has been able to cater to the needs of all the segments. From kids to teenagers, men to women, calorie conscious to health conscious, the company has ensured that it launches products for every segment. Providing value and benefits to its target segment, Amul has been able to build a strong brand association with its customers over the years.
This Polish proverb that rightly says, ‘If the farmer is poor then so is the whole country.’ It was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Tribhuvandas Patel and Dr Verghese Kurien who must’ve understood what this quote meant and took certain measures to stop the exploitation of the farmers.
It was their sheer determination and hard work that ensured a self-sustaining state for the farmers.
Today, the brand has enabled farmers to be entrepreneurs and earn their own living. The whole process is transparent has ensured that there is no exploitation.
The Amul brand has proved that it is not just a product but a movement that represents the economic freedom of farmers. The brand has given farmers the courage to dream, to hope and to live.
Amul in all its sense has proved that it is Amulya i.e. ‘Priceless’ for our nation and that we must preserve it.
Image source: monsieurparadis/Flickr, Amul Facebook Page.