Dr. Verghese Kurien Success Story and Biography, (AMUL) Social Entrepreneur.
Today you will read the inspirational story of Dr. Verghese Kurien. Reading Inspirational stories of Indian Social Entrepreneurs stimulates inspirational enzymes within us and we all wish to emulate them on the path of success.
Exactly with this aim SugerMint – India’s fastest-growing digital marketing platform for Indian entrepreneurs is presenting you series of success stories of Indian Social Entrepreneurs, Women Entrepreneurs, and Indian Young Entrepreneurs who have carved niche in their own way and have become icons.
Following above, today you will read the success story of Dr. Verghese Kurien, (AMUL), Father of White Revolution in India. We hope you are going to enjoy the success story.
Who is Dr. Verghese Kurien?
Dr. Verghese Kurien was a social entrepreneur and known as the “Father of the White Revolution”. He was a social entrepreneur who gave us ‘Operation Flood’, a “billion-liter idea”.
It made dairy farming India’s largest self-sustaining industry. It became the largest rural development provider. It became 1/3rd of all rural income.
As the income rose, it gave a good effect on education, health, gender parity, leadership, etc. It made India the world’s largest milk producer from a milk-deficient nation.
It doubled the availability of milk per person and even increased output fourfold in 30 years. He was the mastermind of ‘Anand pattern’ of dairy co-operatives to replicate it nationwide.
Today ‘Amul’ is India’s largest food brand. At Amul no milk from the farmer was refused and 70 to 80% of the price by consumer went as cash to dairy farmers.
They control the marketing, procurement, and the processing of milk and milk products as the dairy owners. They hire professionals for their skills and inducting technology.
A key invention at ‘Amul’, the world’s first was the production of milk powder from buffalo milk instead of cow milk.
Dr. Kurien made India self-sufficient in edible oil. His work has lifted millions out of poverty in India and outside.
He was born on 26th November 1921 in Kerala in a Syrian Anglican Christian family. While his father worked as a civil surgeon in a government hospital at Gobichettipalayam in Coimbatore, he also schooled at Diamond Jubilee Higher Secondary School there.
At the age of 14, he joined Loyola College in Madras for graduating In Science with Physics in 1940. He got Bachelors’s in Mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy.
He lost his father at the age of 22; his great uncle moved his family to his home in Trichur (Ttissur).
He wanted to join the army as an engineer but his mother wanted him to join Tata Steel Technical Institute, Jamshedpur on his uncle’s recommendation.
He applied for a government of India scholarship and chosen to study dairy engineering.
He was sent to the Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry in Bangalore; he spent nine months there and bid time out to be sent to America.
He took a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Michigan State University. In 1952-53, he got training in dairy technology on a government scholarship to New Zealand, and then to Australia, then had to learn to set up the Amul dairy.
Volunteering to Tinker
In 1949, he was sent to Bombay by the government of India to its run-down experimental creamery at Anand.
He began volunteering to tinker with the primitive dairy equipment of Tribhuvandas Patel.
He sought his help to process the milk of farmers he had bought together after a strike in 1946. He formed a co-operative society to purchase their milk at Kheda.
He had made up his mind to quit the government job mid-way and leave Anand, but Tribhuvandas pressured him to stay back with him.
Tribhuvandas’s efforts and farmer’s trust inspired him to dedicate himself to establish ‘Khaira District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Limited’ at Anand. It is popular as Amul now.
Foundation of the dairy – AMUL:
At that time surplus milk, find no takers, so farmers had to face the problem of fluctuating milk production.
Therefore, the idea took root to try to convert this extra milk in milk powder. Kurien’s batchmate from America H. M.Dalaya invented the process of skimmed milk powder and condensed milk from buffalo milk instead of cow milk.
As per the dairy experts that was impossible at that time. This is one of the reasons for Amul’s success.
Later Dr. G. H. Wilster led to producing cheese from buffalo milk at Amul. Thus at Amul, dairy farmers linked directly to consumers in the market. No need for middlemen, with steady and regular income even during the lean season.
Few political leaders and bureaucrats backed Kurien and Tribhuvandas at that time. They saw merit in their co-operative model.
That an initial lot of farmers all belonged to the single clan of Tribhuvandas’s predominant cast-grouping also helped in bringing all of them together quickly, as a single co-operative union before farmers from other castes took interest and joined in.
Amul’s dairying venture succeeds and spreads around. Prime Minister Nehru had visited Anand to inaugurate Amul’s plant.
That was the largest plant in Asia at that time. Kurean visited Nestle in 1956 on the commerce and industries minister’s concern.
Amul faced serious competition from imported butter from New Zealand. At that, time the finance minister trusted Kurien, so when Kurien asked to cut import of butter he did it every time.
Kurien tried to avoid a shortage of butter. During the Indo-China war during 1962, the government depended on Kurien to step up supplies to the army. He had to divert these away from the civilian market.
Kurien shows Lal Bahadur Shastri how his dairy works in 1964, and he was impressed very much. Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri tasked Kurien to replicate the dairy’s Anand pattern nationwide in 1965.
In addition, that is why the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was founded under Kurien on his conditions. Shastri also took Kuren’s help to set right the government’s mismanaged Delhi Mik Scheme.
International experts were fascinated by Kurien’s work. They stayed back for an extended period to work with him; in return, Kurien engaged them and gave salaries to them.
In 1973, the Anand dairy was replicated in Gujarat’s districts around it set them under Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.
(GCMMF) to sell products under the Amul brand. Many states tried to set up their federation based on this pattern.
He founded the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) to groom managers for co-operatives in 1979. He prevailed on Prime Ministers, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi for setting co-operatives and plants.
They wanted him to work on vegetables, fruits, oil markets, etc. as he had done for milk during Operation Flood.
Because of that Dhara (operation Golden Flow for Cooking Oils), Mother Dairy (Operation Flood), and Safal (Vegetables) are household names today.
He played a key role in setting up co-operatives across India and outside. Premier Alexei Kosygin invited Kurien to the Soviet Union in 1979 for advice on co-operatives there.
Pakistan also invited him to set dairy co-operatives. He went there leading World Bank Mission. China also implemented its own Operation Flood with the help of Kurien.
Prime Minister Narasimha Rao took his help to set up dairy co-operative in Sri Lanka. That was done by NDDB later in 1997, in collaboration with them.
He fought hard to stop multinational companies from entering a dairy business in 1990. India became the world’s largest milk producer by 1998.
He prevailed upon then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to appoint Dr. Amrita Patel his successor at NDDB, but later, he had differences with her. As a GCMMF chairman in 2006 got support from new members on the governing board.
The Amul federation, GCMMF, continues ridden with factionalism. Kurien’s support was crucial in making, the ‘Amul girl’ ad campaign (ad with a larger public message).
Amar Chitra Katha brought out the comic book Verghese Kurien: The Man with the Billion Litre idea in 2013.
On 9th September, Kurien died after a brief spell of illness at the age of 90 at Nadiad Hospital near Anand.
His wife said that he worked hard but never bought work back home and was in bed by 9 pm. Brought up a Christian, Kurian later became an atheist and was cremated.
A daughter and a grandson survive them. In his later years when his daughter asked to retired and stay with her at her home in another city, he told Anand was his home and he will never leave Anand and quit working.
We hope you find the inspirational success story of Dr. Verghese Kurien inspiring through your social entrepreneurial journey and will keep you inspired.
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