How many brands exist which you and I can associate fond childhood memories with still continue to delight us? Well, Amul is one such brand for me. Amul Butter was part of uncountable breakfast meals for me and continues to be. A brand that came to define the product itself similar to Xerox, Amul has in every sense come to stand unanimously for ‘butter’. The fact that the brand has been around for so long is what it makes it only special.
Amul, a brand that was born to foster rural development and ensure that farmers get the right remuneration for their produce has now become a name to reckon with and is Asia-Pacific’s number one brand. Now, a brand that grew out of an untested co-operative model has set its sight to tap the international markets.
Amul is all set to setup a manufacturing plant in the United States to specifically cater to the demand for its products in the US and Europe. The company intends to start with manufacturing of ghee and paneer and then gradually start manufacturing other products
An Indian company setting up a new manufacturing unit in the international market may not be a big deal especially in the recent past where numerous Indian companies have expanded their footprint across the globe. But for some reason, Amul in principle is significantly different from typical private and public companies in India and continuing success of Amul is worth taking note of for various reasons.
Amul could teach the corporate world a thing or two about doing sustainable and clean business…
Amul by no means is small or medium enterprise;it recently crossed $2 Bn in revenues. Now for a company which effectively was formed on principles of ensuring fairness across the entire manufacturing / supply chain and ensuring that the bottom of the chain supplier – the farmer gets his due, I really don’t know how many $2 Bn companies can match Amul.
- Amul has a company has always believed in sustainable operations. By not undercutting the farmers for their effort and paying them in full, Amul has for the most part established itself as an organization with fair business policies and ethical conduct. (*I have personally never come across any frauds/malpractices associated with Amul)
- Amul is a testimony that there is indeed ‘Future at the Bottom of The Pyramid’. Amul was and continues to remain a rural initiative for the most part. Brining individual farmers under a co-operative model has done wonders for Amul. The co-operative model which makes clear business case makes me wonder why other organizations have not managed to replicate the co-operative model into successful ventures
- Amul has stood for high standards of product quality and this could be the very reason a dairy brand was able to leave its mark in International markets. Again, it is my assumption but I doubt if Amul had to resort to any knee-jerk initiatives even in tough economic times
- Amul’s advertising strategy has also been unique for the most part. For years, Amul has relied on traditional hoarding ads but with a fresh twist. Amul continues to delight the masses with its hoarding ads which for the most part provide a humorous take on current affairs. It has recently diversified into TV advertising etc. for various products, but as far as I can remember hoarding ads is all the marketing that Amul has done for a long time and I would say it has gotten the maximum bang out of that
An organization that started out as a rural development initiative is now an international brand. If that is not enough, Amul has also embarked on contributing its bit to Green Revolution as well.
Amidst all the good that Amul has come to represent, I wonder how has it has survived and excelled in the markets for decades without any major question mark on its business and operating standards. Amul to me is a great example of a successful organization even as we witness large companies in India get tangled with huge scams and unethical operations.
What are your thoughts on the continued growth of Amul over so many years? Is the co-operative model followed by Amul worth replicating across various developing regions and sectors?