India’s iconic brand, Amul has been instrumental in ensuring uninterrupted supply of milk and milk products across the country during the COVID-19 lockdown in difficult times. In an interview with IANS, Dr. R S Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) says that Amul is procuring 15 per cent more milk every day as other private and dairy players are not procuring that much.
Sodhi added that since people have been at home during the lockdown, consumption of milk and dairy products has gone up. The opportunities for Amul in the post lockdown period will go up as demand for hygienic and good brands is rising and consumption of loose milk is going down, Sodhi said.
He said the Rs 15,000 crore dairy infrastructure fund announced as part of the stimulus package will create a capacity for five crore litres of more milk and 30 lakh jobs. The Rs 10,000 crore scheme for micro entrepreneurs can also tackle the problem of migration by creating dairy entrepreneurs in milk deficit states.
GCMMF had a turnover of Rs 38,500 crore in FY 20 and has a revenue target of Rs 43,000 crore in the current year, Dr Sodhi said. GCMMF is India’s largest food product marketing organization and in FY20, it daily milk procurement was 23 million litres per day.
Q: How did Amul ensure supply of milk during the lockdown?
A: In the lockdown as far as Amul supply chain is concerned there has been no interruption and disruption. It continues right from farmer to the consumer. You do not stop consuming milk or milk products during a lockdown. Right from day one, milk was declared as a essential product. So there was no major problem in the supply chain. No doubt we had had to take the precautionary and safety measures right from the village level in the classification, processing and distribution of milk and milk products.
How has milk procurement gone up?
Coming to the procurement part, procurement has gone up by 15 per cent because smaller players, private players, small dairies ice cream dairies, they are not procuring milk as much. That much will keep coming extra. That is not just the case with Amul. Cooperatives all over India are taking 15-30 per cent more milk because cooperatives continue to pay good price also. We are able to handle extra milk. We have the capacity for it. We are converting the extra milk into commodities like skimming powder or white butter.
Consumption of milk and milk products has seen an uptrend?
Coming to the consumption side, milk consumption initially reduced by 15 per cent because of closure of hotels, restaurants, mithai shops but within one week we recovered. And now our sales is the same or higher. Metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai is higher than pre-Covid phase of last year.
Mainly, because I believe that when people are at home they are consuming more milk and milk products. Same is the case with consumption of all our dairy products, paneer, ghee, cheese, 10-30 per cent increase is there. Because when people are not eating out, they are eating at home, eating good ingredients at home.
When you are eating at home, you will go for real, cheese, butter, ghee. Naturally, people will go for a good brand like Amul. Demand for good, branded products has increased. We sorted out problems in the supply chain during lockdown. We had given lot of incentives to our supply chain partners, like labour, transporters, employees to motivate them in a difficult time.
What are the revenue projections for GCMMF in the current year?
Last year, the revenue was Rs 38,500 crore, with a growth of 15 per cent it will be Rs 43,000 crore in the current year. If you see Amul brand as a whole, last year it was Rs 53,000 crore, this year it will be Rs 58,000 crore.
What will be post lockdown opportunities?
There are emerging opportunities after the lockdown. People are preferring safe and hygienic products with immunity boosters. Branded products, reputed brands which are affordable will be preferred and Amul meets all the criteria. People are buying less of loose milk. (IANS)