For beleaguered managements of English television news channels, the sustained advertising splash of the unlikely Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) has clearly come as manna from heaven. Technically GCMMF is owned by milk producing farmers banded together into modest cooperatives. These dairy farmers are probably unaware of the very existence of English news channels. But this federation of cooperatives based in Gujarat, owns Amul — one of India’s most popular brands developed under the supervision of the late and legendary Dr. Verghese Kurien (1921-2012), who during his eventful lifetime built the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), GCMMF, and Amul from ground up. Launched by Kurien, the White Revolution transformed chronically milk-deficient India into the world’s largest producer of milk and dairy products, and cut the ground under from several dairy multinationals that were buying cheap and selling dear. The recent ad splurge must have cost GCMMF millions of dollars.
This profligacy is in sharp contrast with several campaign proposals advanced to R.S. Sodhi, who succeeded Kurien as the CEO of GCMMF, to modestly — in our mutual interest — advertise in EW which is directly targeted at EPS (educators, parents and students) and therefore, highly cost-effective. Our mewing solicitations have been studiously ignored by Sodhi, unmindful of the fact that Kurien readily accepted the merit of our proposition even at the time when EW was in its infancy. Evidently Sodhi, hand-picked and nurtured by Kurien to succeed him, believes he knows better than his mentor. During his lifetime, despite the opposition of commies and fellow travellers who continuously belittled his achievements, Kurien built Amul into the country’s most loved brand and converted India into the world’s largest producer of milk and dairy products. Too big boots for Sodhi.