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The Inspiring Story of Verghese Kurien- The Man behind The World’s largest White Revolution


Verghese Kurien
Verghese Kurien (Picture credit: Wikipedia

Welcome to Youth Motivator. I would like to tell you the inspiring biography of Verghese Kurien.

Introduction-

Verghese Kurien was born on 26 November 1921 in Kozhikode, state of Kerala, in India.
Verghese Kurien is the founder of the India’s largest milk company. He ran Operation Flood in India.
So, he is popularly called as the Milk man of India and father of white revolution.
Because of his efforts, India became the world’s largest milk producing nation.
Currently, the net worth of Amul is 5 billion US dollars.
Now, the products of Amul are sold in over 40 countries some of which include USA, Singapore, UAE, Japan, China, etc. He was a very bright student, excelling in studies since his childhood.

Education and Job-

Verghese Kurien graduated in Mechanical engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy and initially worked in TISCO (Tata Steel).
Initially, he was not at all interested in dairy farming. But, all of this changed when he received scholarship for diary engineering by the Government of India. He joined Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry and Diary College in Bangalore, Karnataka.
 He studied here for about nine months, later Government decided to send him to Michigan State University in USA for special training. He later post graduated in Master of Science from Michigan State University.

Realising the passion-

There, he developed passion for diary technology. He also visited New Zealand and Australia to learn more about dairy farming.
He received many job offers from foreign companies but he wanted to contribute his services to his motherland so he returned to India and joined Anand in Gujarat as a diary engineer.
During those times, the monopoly of private diary companies was very high and the farmers were not properly compensated for their hard work.
Unfortunately, he was not assigned any serious work in Anand due to which he felt very guilty for withdrawing his salary without contributing anything to his company.

The friendship which changed his life-

So, he decided to resign his job but he was stopped by Tribhuvan Das, the founder of Kheda district co-operative milk Union. He was motivated by Tribhuvan Das Patel, that he is the right person because of his intelligence and expertise to carry forward the movement raised by farmers.
 He later associated himself with Kurien and both of them tirelessly began to work for farmers.
Kurien used to manage the production and innovation process in Amul whereas Tribhuvan used to garner the political support which helped Amul immensely.

 This changed the mind-set of Kurien, who once decided to resigning his job was now determined to help the poor dairy farmers.
He did an exhaustive research on many points like how the milk is procured, stored, transported, what kind of feed is fed to the cattle, etc.
He noticed that in between the months of December and March, the milk production was very high but unfortunately, during the same period the demand for milk was not that great. By this, the farmers were incurring heavy losses.
So, Kurien decided to turn the milk into milk powder as milk powder has greater shelf-life than milk, it can be sold during high demand periods. But India is a buffalo dominant country and technology of producing milk powder was limited only to cow’s milk.

Humiliation-

Kurien once requested a diary firm of Switzerland to help Amul with the technology to manufacture condensed milk, but the firm stiffly refused and said that you natives are not capable of handling the technology. Then, Kurien refused inquiring about their technology and developed Amul’s own condensed milk formula, which is now popularly known as – Mithai Mate.

Creating a world record-

So, Kurien decided to develop a new technology to derive milk powder from buffalo’s milk. The other milk companies, diary experts and the world thought that it was an impossible task to achieve, but Kurien and his friend HM Dalaya, who was his batch mate in America proved the world wrong and he created a new world record by extracting milk powder from buffalo’s milk for the first time in the world. Kurien proved his worth as an efficient manager in Amul.

Taking care of his employees-

On one day, Kurien came to the office unheralded; he noticed that one of his senior employee was drinking milk out of a milk can. When the employee noticed Dr.Kurien, he became very anxious and told that he was not drinking the milk but was examining the milk.
Then, Kurien didn’t utter a single word, but made orders that from the next day on wards; each and every employee must be given half a liter of milk daily.

Spreading the Success formula across the nation-

The Amul was so successful that then Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1964 requested Kurien to replicate the Amul model all over the country.
This led to the formation of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) at Anand, Gujarat where Kurien operated a movement by name Operation Flood; its main aim is to produce surplus quantity of milk. This was the world’s largest diary development operation.
Now, Amul has the largest milk powder manufacturing plant in Asia.

Changing the face of a country-

This changed the face of India from milk deficient country, which was once importing milk and milk products from different countries like New Zealand, etc. to the world’s largest producer of milk, India in now exporting milk and milk products to many countries around the world.

Awards and Recognitions-

Kurien was awarded for his contributions to the diary field; he received many awards some of which include Ramon Magsaysay, Padma Shri, Padma Vibushan, Padma Bushan, Krishi Ratna.
He was chosen as the International person of the year by World Diary Expo in the year 1993.
National milk day is celebrated on 26th November, the date on which Kurien was born.

An interesting fact-

An interesting fact is that Doctor Kurien, the father of white revolution never drank milk as he did not like the taste of milk. And now Amul is labelled as the taste of India. Amul is a very well-established brand all thanks to the efforts of Kurien, the employees of Amul and the dairy farmers.

The hard work behind success-

Ultimately, now Amul might seem to be a very successful company, but it has all been possible due to the hard work of Kurien and dairy farmers and the trust they had on each other. So, the Amul is a co-operative instead of a typical company, here its shareholders, the farmers toil hard to make their company successful.
He has empowered the lives of poor farmers and helped to build a reputable brand which is now employing more than 3 million people and brought economic independence to countless farmers.
The whole world salutes Kurien who has gifted the world with a great world-class brand Amul.
Kurien wrote his life story in a book by name- I too had a dream.
Verghese Kurien lived for 90 long years and sadly, Kurien passed away on 9 September 2012.

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