My pick for today is Amul – the “Utterly Butterly Delicious” brand that has buttered my bread since ages.
Since childhood, till date, I have always enjoyed reading the witty catchphrases on the billboards from which the polka dotted Amul girl with a puff pony on her head would state her stand on contemporary events.
The name “Amul”, derived from a Sanskrit word “Amoolya” meaning priceless, is also an acronym for Anand Milk Union Limited. The name suggested by a chemist in Anand, was registered in 1957, and went on to become one of the most recalled household names in India.
The force behind creation of India’s loved brand Amul was Dr Verghese Kurien, fondly remembered as the Father of India’s White Revolution.
Amul – It all began at Anand
Going back into history, a dairy by the name of Polson, at Anand (in Kaira district) in Gujarat, supplied butter to the British Army and milk to Bombay. Monopolizing the market in 1945, Polson sold milk products at higher prices while coercing the farmers to sell milk to the dairy at lower prices. Fed up of daily exploitation, the farmers took the advice of Sardar Patel and formed Kaira milk cooperative in 1946.
It was in the year 1949, that Dr Verghese Kurien arrived in Anand to manage the dairy and stayed back in Anand to take the cooperative movement ahead.
Under the guidance of Dr Kurien, the procurement capacity of the cooperative increased by leaps and bounds. The World’s first plant to manufacture milk powder from buffalo milk was inaugurated at Anand in 1955. During the 1962 war against China, Amul cooperative in collaboration with the Rajkot dairy served the nation’s interest by supplying milk powder to the Indian army.
In 1973, Kaira co-operative handed over the brand name Amul to the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that was established to market milk and milk products for six district cooperative unions of Gujarat.
The polka dotted Amul girl
The polka dotted Amul Girl was created by Sylvester daCunha (daCunha Communications) to counter the Polson dairy girl. “Utterly Butterly Delicious”, was the best baseline a brand has ever had.
Verghese Kurien gave the creative team of Eustace Fernandez and Sylvester daCunha, a free hand to create the topical advertisements without approval from Amul.
Lately, though, some of the satirical messages got the campaign’s makers daCunha Communications into legal wrangles.
Amul – the brand represents a movement
The efforts of Dr Kurien kick started the White Revolution or the Operation Flood, which resulted in India turning from a milk deficient country to one of the largest milk producing countries in world.
The ownership of the brand by the farmers gave them the will power to face and overcome all odds. The model became a proven model for dairy development and was replicated in other parts of India.
Amul, is a symbol of high-quality products sold at reasonable prices.
The Amul movement is representative of the economic freedom of farmers. It has empowered thousands of village women, who benefit at the grass-root level by selling milk to Amul.
The vast co-operative network, with 10000 dealers and 10 lakh retailers, is also India’s largest exporter of Dairy Products to places such as USA, Gulf, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, China and Australia.
Amul butter, milk powder, packaged milk , ghee, cheese, shreekhand etc are used in millions of homes since 1945.
Which of these Amul products do you use the most?
Image source : Facebook page of Amul
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