What started in 1946 as the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union with two village dairy co-operative societies and 247 litres of milk, has transformed into a huge FMCG brand with a consolidated turnover of Rs 72,000 crore, processing close to 30 million litres of milk daily.

Founded in Anand, Gujarat, the formidable triumvirate of Chairman Tribhuvandas Patel, Dr Verghese Kurien and dairy technologist HM Dalaya built up the institution that is Amul. It’s a trusted model that can transform an economy. The biggest and most vital component of this model is the farm producer and then the consumer who relies on them. Now, Amul has set itself an ambitious target of hitting a turnover of Rs 1 lakh crore in the next couple of years.

Read: RBI wins Business Line’s Changemaker of the Year award; Amul is crowned Iconic changemaker

On receiving the award, managing director of Amul marketer Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) Jayen Mehta said, “Though the cow gives milk for 300 days in a year, which is her lactation cycle, she produces dung every day.”

“With the large number of cattle that we have, Amul has started the process again through its cooperatives to collect the dung. From the dung, what you get is methane and that becomes biogas which can light the stove in the house of a farmer, and can even help run cars. And then what is left behind is the biofertilizer, which goes to the fields. And consumers can get food, which is produced without chemical fertilisers, he said.

“It solves so many problems in one shot. The farmers get additional income from the dung that the cow produces, the import bill on fuel and fertilizers comes down and more importantly, the consumers also get food without the chemical fertilizer. It’s a win-win situation. And what’s more, From this methane, which is CH4, you can extract hydrogen.”

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businessline’s 2023 Iconic Changemaker of the Year award citation:

Amul is a much loved brand that touches the lives of millions of Indians. The ‘utterly butterly’ Amul girl, with her ponytail and polka-dotted frock, has given generations of Indians many reasons to laugh over the years.

The story of Amul mirrors India’s freedom struggle. Even as the country was nearing the end of its battle for freedom from the British, in Anand, Gujarat, a revolution was taking place. In 1946, dairy farmers, at the mercy of exploitative middlemen in the milk trade, were prodded by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to form and run their own cooperatives that would directly market the milk they produced.

With the inspiration of Sardar Patel and under the guidance of founder Chairman Tribhuvandas Patel and Morarji Desai, Amul was founded as a cooperative. Later, under the legendary Dr Verghese Kurien and dairy technologist HM Dalaya, Amul revolutionised India’s dairy landscape.

The formidable ‘triumvirate’ built up Amul into an institution that India can be proud of. The milk producer has always remained central to the Amul model with around 80 per cent of the sales going back to the farmers.

Procuring more than three crore litres of milk a day, Amul has a turnover of Rs 72,000 crore, making it the largest FMCG brand in India with over 50 categories of products. India currently contributes about a fourth to global milk production and this share is set to go up to 30 per cent by 2033. Amul, which is present in over 50 countries, has set itself an ambitious target of reaching a turnover of Rs 1-lakh crore in the next couple of years.

Amul is businessline’s Iconic Changemaker for its transformation from a milk processor to a model that can transform an economy while taking along the farmer community and becoming a brand that is loved by consumers.