Verghese Kurien, also known as the architect of Operation Flood or 'White Revolution' - the largest dairy development program in the world, died at Nadiad in Gujarat on September 9, 2012. He's the man who helped modernise the Anand model of cooperative dairy development and engineered the White Revolution in India, and made India the largest milk producer in the world. Today over 10 million farmers across the country at 200 dairies produce over 20 million litres of milk a day. He was also the founder of the popular dairy milk brand in India- Amul.
Kurien and his team were pioneers in inventing the process of making milk powder and condensed milk from buffalo's milk instead of cow's milk. This was the reason Amul became so successful and competed well against Nestle who only used cow milk to make powder and condensed milk. In India, buffalo milk is the main raw material unlike Europe where cow milk is abundant.
The word Amul is also derived from the Sanskrit word Amulya, meaning invaluable.
Know more about Verghese Kurien: Quick Facts about Verghese Kurien
- Kurien belongs to the Syrian Christian community of India.
- He was born on 26 November 1921 to a civil surgeon father in Cochin.
- He married his neighbor's daughter Molly. He has one daughter Nirmala Kurien and a grandson, Siddharth.
- He graduated in Physics from Loyola College, Madras in 1940 and then did B.E. (Mech) from the College of Engineering, Guindy (then the University of Madras).
- After his engineering, he worked at Tata Steel Technical Institute, Jamshedpur from where he graduated in 1946.
- He also went to USA on a government scholarship for his Master of Science in Metallurgical Engineering (with distinction) from Michigan State University.
- At the Government Research Creamery, based in 'Anand' (Gujarat), Kurien's vision and extraordinary intelligence built the dairy development cooperative model into one of the largest and most successful institutions in India, called, AMUL.
- India's first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru visited Anand to inaugrate AMUL "factory" and he embraced Kurien for his groundbreaking work.
- The Amul pattern of cooperatives had been so successful, that in 1965, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, (then Prime minister of India) created the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to replicate the program on a nationwide basis citing Kurien's "extraordinary and dynamic leadership" upon naming him chairman.
- Kurien also set up GCMMF in 1973 to sell the products produced by the dairies. Today GCMMF sells AMUL brand products not only in India but also overseas
- Kurien was mentioned by the Ashoka foundation (www.ashoka.ca) as one of the eminent present Day Social Entrepreneurs.
- Kurien's life story is chronicled in his memoir 'I too had a dream'.
Facts collected from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verghese_Kurien