Making Farmers' Life 'Amul-ya'

Amul is driving growth on the back of innovation. The company is fully automated and using reproductive techniques such as sexed semen, embryo transfer, among others

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Whether it's a slap at the Oscars or the triumphant India men's badminton team, Amul never fails to amaze with its doodles in depicting events. Not only the doodles, the company leads in innovation too, which starts at the farmer level. From the traditional system of manually procuring milk, Amul has switched to a fully automated app-based system: right from the procurement to the end product. "This is just one of our many innovations," said R.S. Sodhi, managing director of Amul.

"Amul works with 3.6 million farmers and we have around 18,500 village cooperative societies. When a farmer gives milk to the cooperative, the person can track every detail through the app. The amount of milk given, the nutritional value, the price paid and the amount deposited in the bank account. This brings transparency in the system," he said explaining the process.

The veterinary needs of the animals too are tracked by the app. "If an animal falls sick and there is an emergency, the doctor is just a tap away. The doctor can scroll through the entire medical history of the animal through the app. This information is based on the RFID tags fixed in the ear of an animal. Here in Gujarat, in case of veterinary services, the patient doesn't go to the doctor but the doctor comes to the doorstep. This is the kind of innovation we have brought in the vet services."

Tech for increasing productivity

At Amul, farmers use sexed semen technology. Through this, a cow gives birth only to females. "For productivity, we only need female calves and the sexed semen technology is 95 per cent accurate."

Apart from artificial insemination which has been going for years now, the dairy heavyweight uses embryo transfer through IVF. Explaining the process, Sodhi said, "A good productivity cow produces around 20 to 25 liters more milk per day. When these cows come to heat, eggs are taken out from them and are inseminated with sexed semen in a test tube. Then this fertilized egg is injected in a dry cow or a cow whose milk productivity level is less."

New product introduction

There is no separate product development division in the company. "The people at the production level are responsible for the development. We have more than 94 dairy plants. When there is a genesis of a new product idea, we send this to the people at the production level and ask them to come with final products. Once it's made we do the testing and it's launched."

Challenges during pandemic

During COVID when social distancing came into place, the distribution channel faced a lot of challenges. "To counter these challenges, we came up with an app called Amul Cart. Using this app, a retailer could place an order from the comfort of his home and a distributor would deliver it to the destination the very next day."

Another app called Locate Amul helps consumers find their favorite Amul product in their vicinity. The supply chain at Amul is called C2C (cow to consumers) or B2C (buffalo to consumers). "In the case of any agricultural produce in today's competitive world, we have to bring in a lot of efficiency and reduce waste. This is only possible with use of newer technology and this is where innovation plays the biggest role."