Wednesday, September 12, 2012

RIP 'Milkman of India'

Varghese Kurien

Dr.Varghese Kurien popularly known as the 'Milkman of India' was one of the social icons of social entrepreneurship. When it comes to business we develop products for the profit and most of the times business is focussed on having better turn over and good annual reports. But Dr.Kurien was having a vision of CSR values even in the 1960's  who formed one of the huge corporations in Asia named AMUL which took India into the no.1 spot in milk production. He was not just an entrepreneur. He worked for the welfare of the farmers, the milk producers and people around him.

Early Life

Kurien, the person behind the taste of India-AMUL never had a vision that he will be working with milk and milk products in the coming days during his younger ages. His father was a civil surgeon in Cochin, Kerala. After finishing his primary education, kurien got a Bachelor degree in Physics from Loyala College, Chennai followed by an Mechanical Engineering degree from Madras University, Chennai. In 1946, he joined Tata Engineering Institute, Jamshedpur and he was sent to Michigan State University, USA to study Masters. Since he could only possibly get a scholarship to study Masters in Dairy Engineering he chose to continue with that specialisation. But he was more interested to attend nuclear and mechanical engineering classes during his Masters in USA. 

Formation of AMUL

Kurien came back to India in 1948, and Indian government offered him a job in Dairy Department. He worked as a dairy engineer in a small government creamery in Anand, Gujarat. He was helping a newly formed Cooperative Milk Society of Kheda District farmers(KDCMPUL). When KDCMPUL was under attack by a gaint privately owned corporation, Kurien quit his government job and fully involved himself to build a milk processing unit for Kheda District farmers thus forming AMUL-Anand Milk Union Limited corporation in Anand.  

White Revolution

Amul India created a great success and cooperation between the dairy farmers of Gujarat. By this grand success, in 1965 he got the attention of central government of India which made him the cheif to set up the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in Anand, Gujarat. In 1973, Kurien set up Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GMCMMF) which manages the brand amul. Kurien gathered farmers all around India to make cooperatives thus putting India in the first place in milk production. The cooperatives set up by him make the farmers in to owners by offering shares. He not only revolutionised the milk sector of India but also the entrepreneurship giving away standing as a icon of social entrepreneurship.

Tribute to Kurien

During his career the milkman was honoured by a number of international institutes for his great achievement. Some of the important awards includes Padma Shri, Padma Bhusan, Krishi Ratna Award, World Food Prize, International person of the year, Padma Vibhushan. Due to illness, Kurien passed on 9th September 2012. "He built a vibrant brand-amul and proved that an Indian brand can challenge all international brands" says the Economic times. "He truly deserves a Bharata Ratna" says all the dairy farmers of India. And bubbly smily Amul girl wept for Dr.Kurien.

I salute you and remember all your achievements. You gave India a powerful tool in the world food market. Most of the farmers in India are having a decent life because of Milk cooperations started by you. We thank you for all. 

Rest In Peace Sir.


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