V Kurien was visionary par excellence: B M Vyas

11 Sep,2012

By B M Vyas

 

I met Dr V Kurien when I was 17 in my college and joined Amul at 20 in 1971. I became the MD of GCMMF in 1994 and retired in 2010. I was fortunate to work with Mr Kurien as my Chairman till he retired in 2005.

 

Verghese Kurien

Dr Kurien was a visionary but also he was a marketer par excellence. He was a missionary in the true sense! He learned and internalised the vision of Sardar Patel to liberate rural producers from clutches of middleman by enabling them to Procure, Process and most importantly market their produce themselves.

 

He pursued this from 1949 to 1964 until he met with Lal Bahadur Shastri and we inspired him to upscale Amul model (known as Anand Pattern) through creation of the National Dairy Development Board. He did this through Operation Flood 1/2/3 from 1970 to 1995. He organised 100,000+ village dairy cooperative and set up over 200 dairy plants pan India in meagre Rs 2000 crores only and made India No 1 in milk production.

 

His business was Development. Marketing, branding and all other technologies are means and not end in itself! I shall always remember his tremendous faith in Farmers goodness, kindness, wisdom and his faith in young officers. He was always open to giving space and confidence to experiment and innovate. Dr Kurien was passionate about building the brand Amul. He began building Kaira coop from 1949 to 1956 and only in 1957 brand Amul was coined. Best quality and fairest price both were fundamental to Amul and was zealously practised at all levels. Amul ultimately became a symbol that means different to different people!

 

What does Amul mean to a milk producer? Hope
What does it mean to a rural household? Salvation from poverty
What does it means to an academician? A success story. A successful concept
What does it means to an Indian citizen? An Indian brand build by Indian for Indians and of Indians
Is it the soul of Indian agriculture? Or soul of the white revolution in India
Is it a source of inspiration for the poor and oppressed, that they too can create an Amul
What does it means for our leaders and bureaucrats? A heart-warming result of someone’s lifetime of
work.

 

Is it nation’s greatest success story under democracy? A school of democracy itself? Or a source of poverty eradication?

 

Amul is in essence – all of the above. You can only experience it. Amul initially was a butter brand, known as utterly butterly delicious Amul butter with a little Amul Girl as brand ambassador. However, with proliferation of huge product range and also electronic media he persuaded ad agencies to come out with a unified approach. After years of effort and persuasion post 1991 new position was created and Amul became Amul- the taste of India.

 

This was brought on all products, communication, Point of sales, social medias etc and was assiduously
promoted on mass media. To also keep social dimension in the mind and heart of proud Indian
consumer ‘Maro Gao kathawadi was converted to corporate communication and is deployed extensively
and regularly.

 

In everything he practised highest standard of excellence was a pre requisite. He moulded each of us
such that excellence to us became a minimum standard in anything we attempted.

 

Amul became a strong movement during his life time. But he has build such an institution that it will
grow even stronger in his absence. As he was a greatest of great institution builder of independent
India!

 

(As told to Tuhina Anand)

 

Related Stories

  • No Related Stories Found
Post a Comment 

2 responses to “V Kurien was visionary par excellence: B M Vyas”

  1. ravipandya says:

    I was involved to execute a major exhibition for NDDB @ NAM conference-Harare-Zimbabwe early 80s.
    In the brief to us he and Ms patel spent approx 20/30 hours on detailed brief
    the classic was- we do not want any photographs of Us,or Polticians to be portrayed.
    Farmers,animal,machines and figures will speak for themselves.
    A rare and LONE brief I have received in my 50 years career nad approx 300-400 assignments.
    This small made be realize the greatness of the great Man nad his Organization-NDDB

  2. Nandini Dias Lodestar UM says:

    Sir Vyas , Its completely awe inspiring what Dr Kurien has done for India. And you who have been a pivot in his team. Amul is and will remain a brand really close to our hearts and hope we will continue to play our very small part in taking the vision ahead. That’s a lovely tribute that you have written. Often remember the meetings that we had with you and miss your presence. Warm regards

Today's Top Stories
Videos