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A Tribute to Verghese Kurien

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 910
  • Category: Milk

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Dr, Verghese Kurien is the name that glorified the milk business and made it important part of the economical development of our country. He was the one who started the white revolution in milk industry and change the ways of milk business in India. Unfortunately, he is no more among us as he breathed his last at the age of ninety but his name would always remain in our memories for his entrepreneurship.

India is one of the major milk producers in the world

The credit goes to Dr. Kurien if India is one of the major milk producers in the world today. In fact, India is at number one position for last two years. In 2010, India produced a little over one hundred and twenty million tons of milk while during the last year this figure went up by another 7 million tons to touch almost one hundred and twenty seven million tons.

Dr. Verghese Kurien known as one of the shrewdest operator in business circles, who never cared for any one while it came to taking decisions. He took the decision for beginning the operation flood when there was a deep confusion related to food industry in the country. Nevertheless, this decision changed the entire face of the milk industry in a single stroke.

Dr. Kurien wanted to give a new shape to the milk industry right from forties while he was still working on a model of cooperative based dairy industry, which took shape in early seventies in the shape of ‘Operation flood’ and that is the reason that India is ahead of countries like Denmark in milk production. India produces almost seventeen percent of the total milk that is produced the world over. A no small achievement considering the competition.

Operation Flood

This all started in 1970 with national dairy development Board under the Chairmanship of Dr Verghese Kurien the operation flood was launched but later he joined hands with the Chairman of Kaira district milk producers Union in 1973 that was the foundation of Amul, rest is history. This very talented mechanical engineer brought the entire dairy business of the country under one grid.

Dr. Kurien was associated with Gujarat cooperative milk federation right from conception and remained with it for almost 35 years or so. He started his activities with two villages and today more than two million villagers of fifteen thousand villages are associated as members with this prestigious organization.

Amul the world famous company is one of the premier most cooperative societies in the world today. The best part of the success story is that the whole operation that started with two villages spread over to more than fifteen thousands in almost no time. This would have not been possible if Dr. Kurien have denied the offer of the then Chairman Mr. Tribhuan das who insisted Kurien to stay back in Anand the headquarters of Amul. Therefore this is all about from two villages to start with and reaching to almost sixteen thousands.

He almost challenged Nestle and threw it away

There is a big number who use milk powder, condensed milk and other dairy products at a very big level and that includes hospitality industry that use these products as part of its accessory while serving its customers. You must be surprised to know that Dr. Kurien was the one who was responsible for this trend. This used to be Nestlé’s monopoly in this field although Nestle products were made of cow’s milk.

However, Dr. Kurien came out with a new experiment with buffalo milk for manufacturing condensed milk, powder and other dairy products, which had a better fat content. This move gave Nestle a real run for the money. Dr. Kurien truly lived and realized the vision that Sardar Patel saw for India.

A naughty girl with polka dotted frock

I am sure everyone has seen a hording of Amul on almost every highway with a girl wearing a polka dotted frock, blue haired, half ponytail and an innocent smile on her face, this advertisement was created on the instruction of Dr, Kurien himself well before Amul was so popular.

I would like to conclude with a few lines in his honor

His contribution to the welfare to the farmer and agricultural production and development would never be forgotten, thank you Dr, Verghese Kurien for what you did for us and for all us Indians. My heartiest tribute on sad death of this white tiger of India.

In 2001, Dr Kurien was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ET Awards for Corporate Excellence. Known as the “father of the white revolution” in India
Academic achievements, awards and honors

Kurien has received 12 honorary degrees[25] from universities around the world, including from the following:
1. Michigan State University
2. University of Glasgow
3. Acadia University
4. Ottawa University
5. Anna University
6. University of New England
7. University of Guelph
8. Sardar Patel University
9. Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University
10. Gujarat Agricultural University
11. University of Roorkee
12. Kerala Agricultural University

Year| Name of Award or Honor| Awarding Organization|
1999| Padma Vibhushan| Government of India|
1993| International Person of the Year Award| World Dairy Expo| 1989| World Food Prize| World Food Prize, USA.|
1986| Wateler Peace Prize Award| Carnegie Foundation, The Netherlands.| 1986| Krushi Ratna Award| Government of India.|
1966| Padma Bhushan| Government of India.|
1965| Padma Shri| Government of India.|
1963| Ramon Magsaysay Award| Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundati|

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