Agri Business

Amul celebrates Kurien’s 90th birthday

| | Updated on: Nov 26, 2011
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Never did representatives of 15 lakh farmers celebrate any birthday the way they did it on Saturday.

On Saturday, Dr Varghese Kurien, Founder of Amul, turned 90. After retirement, he settled down in Anand, the small town he made world-famous through the co-operative movement launched at the instance of his mentor, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.

People were surprised to notice this morning when they saw quarter-page advertisements put out across many newspapers by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets milk and milk products under the Amul brand: “You changed the lives of 15 million farmers’ families. You revolutionized the dairy sector. You gave India 200 Amul brands. We give you 90 candles,” the grateful Amul girl, attired in her trademark polka frock and hairband, told Dr Kurien in the advertisement. The Milkman affectionately held a calf in the ad as the smiling mother-cow looked on.

The advertisement also acknowledged the many hats Dr Kurien wore: Founder Chairman of NDDB, GCMMF, NCDFI, IRMA, among others. And the many epithets he got accustomed with: Father of the White Revolution, The Milkman of India, and Architect of Operation Flood. “Thank you for making us the largest selling milk producer in the world. Thank you for engineering the dairy cooperative movement in India. From all of us at Amul.”

For those wishing Dr Kurien a happy birthday, Amul also went all out on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, created an email account, and SMS number and a toll-free number. These wishes will be collected and gifted to him.

A grateful Mr RS Sodhi, the present Managing Director of GCMMF, who had the privilege to work with him for 32 years, told Business Line that Dr Kurien was, perhaps, the only example after Mahatma Gandhi who has contributed so much for the upliftment of rural economy in India.

“He created so many world-class institutions in his lifetime, and nurtured talents, which has touched the life of millions of villagers who live at the bottom of the pyramid in the society.”

He said Dr Kurien was very passionate about whatever he did. “During the 1980s, when I was the General Manager of GCMMF at Ahmedabad, Dr Kurien would call me every week to know about the marketing progress of ‘Dhara’ brand of edible we had just launched. He was so senior, the Chairman, and I was only a GM. But that defined Dr Kurien’s earnestness about his job. He built the Amul brand from scratch when nobody in India knew anything about branding-building of a product.”

No wonder, on Saturday, Amul ran a special campaign for its Creator, communicated birthday wish to the 90-year-young Boy through butter hoardings across the country. And no wonder Dr Kurien must have felt more overwhelmed with this unique Operation Flood of Emotions than when he was decorated with the Padma Vibhushan.

Published on November 17, 2017

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