Verghese Kurien: Founder of Amul Dairy

Verghese Kurien was appointed as the Founder-Chairman of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), headquartered at Gujarat, India. NDDB is an institution of national importance established by an Act of Parliament of India. He established the dairy coooperative, Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union Limited (KDCMPUL), popularly known as Amul, at Anand, Gujarat. He assiduously helped Amul throughout the process of producing milk powder through buffalo's milk. This impressive factor led him to sit at the position of Chairman at NDDB.

Verghese Kurien on success of Amul

Verghese Kurien- Biography

Name Dr Verghese Kurien
Born 26 November, 1921
Birthplace Kozhikode, Kerala, India
Nationality Indian
Died 9 September, 2012
Place of Death Nadiad, Gujarat, India
Life-span 90 years
Education University of Madras; Michigan State University
Profession Social Entrepreneur
Founded Amul, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA)
Secured Position General Manager & later Chairman of NDDB and IRMA
Also known as Milkman of India; Father of the White Revolution of India
Spouse Molly Kurien
Daughter Nirmala

Verghese Kurien- Personal Life
Verghese Kurien- Education
Verghese Kurien- Early Life
Verghese Kurien- Professional Life
Verghese Kurien- Success story
Verghese Kurien- Founder of Amul
Verghese Kurien- Founder of NDDB & IRMA
Verghese Kurien- Books
Verghese Kurien- Awards


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Verghese Kurien- Personal Life

Verghese came from a Syrian Anglican Christian family. He was born in Calicut, Madras Presidency, British India (now, Kozhikode, Kerala, India).  His father was employed as a civil surgeon at one of the government hospital of Tamil Nadu.

When Verghese was 22 years old, his father died. His uncle then shifted this family to his home in Trichur (now, Thrissur).

Verghese Kurien- Education

Verghese completed his primary education from Diamond Jubilee Higher Secondary School, Gobichettipalayam, in Coimbatore (now, Erode district, Tamil Nadu).

At age 14, he joined Loyola College in Madras (now, Chennai). He pursued graduation from there and received his physics specialized degree in 1940.

He also pursued a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy in 1943. At that time this college came under University of Madras.


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Verghese Kurien- Early Life

Verghese wanted to join Army and serve as an engineer. But, his mother wanted him to join Tata Steel Technical Institute, Jamshedpur. One of his uncle was among the Directors of Tata Steel and he eventually recommended his name. He soon graduated from the institute in 1946.

Verghese wanted to get rid of his uncle's flattery and soon left to apply for a scholarship offered by Indian government. He then chose to study dairy engineering. However, his uncle persuaded him to get admitted to the Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry in Bangalore (now, National Dairy Research Institute). He spent nine months over there and then went to America.

In America he started studying at Michigan State University. He received a master's degree in mechanical engineering (metallurgy) with a minor in nuclear physics in 1948.

He was assiduously trained in dairy technology from 1952-1953 on a government sponsorship to New Zealand to a fortification of cooperative dairying. He then went to Australia, where he innovated various ideas and learnt to set up Amul.


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Verghese Kurien- Professional Life

Verghese exercised various efforts for around thirty cooperative institutions including Amul, IRMA, NDDB that eventually thrived under his direction.

He was least interested in the dairy farming cooperative business, even he was not fond of milk or any of its products. However, he served his job as an Officer in Dairy Division in return for the Government scholarship.

However, he is the one who ruled the dairy farming cooperative business and brought immense employment opportunities for Indian citizens and farmers as well.

At a time, when India was considered the least country in the field of milk production. Verghese turned this image of India updown and soon he brought Operation Flood in India. India eventually became the largest producer of milk world wide.

Verghese Kurien- Success story

After returning from US in 1949, the Government of India designated him to a creamery at Anand to serve as an Officer at Dairy Division for five years.

Verghese initially found his job boring until he met Tribhuvandas Patel, who sought to raise farmers and ditch the rich cunning business persons who were snatching their part of money. Verghese was impressed by Patel, and he too joined in his fight against farmer's exploitation.

Patel founded a cooperative Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union Limited (KDCMPUL), Kurien supported him all the way from facing competitors to overcoming them.


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Verghese Kurien- Founder of Amul

Amul Logo

The Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union Limited (KDCMPUL) was formed in 1946 with the collated efforts of Verghese and Tribhuvandas Patel.

The cooperative KDCMPUL was soon named Amul Dairy, which eventually played a pivotal role in flourishing White Revolution in India. The turning point of Amul came when the process of producing milk powder through cow's milk was discovered.

The idea of Amul Dairy was so enchanting that many of its model was soon established in the neighboring districts of Gujarat.

Rise of Amul

Verghese Kurien- Founder of NDDB & IRMA

Verghese' work in Amul was so renowed and exemplary, that the Indian Prime Minister then, Lal Bahadur Shastri established the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1965 to expand the dairy cooperative program to every corner of the country. Verghese was designated as the Chairman of NDDC.

With an eye to adequately manage the cooperative body, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF) was established in 1973.

Verghese found the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), based on the fact that effective rural development is feasible only through professional management.

Verghese Kurien- Books

The Man Who Made the Elephant by Dr. Verghese Kurien is his authorized audio-autobiography. Tom Alter voiced this audiobook, he narrates the surmounting story of the globally praised Dr. Verghese Kurien.

Kurien authored another book in 1997 named An Unfinished Dream published by Tata-McGraw-Hill.

He wrote another book in 2005, I Too Had a Dream published by APH Publishing Corp.

Verghese Kurien- Awards

Award Awarding Organization
Ramon Magsaysay Award (1963) Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation
Padma Shri (1965) Government of India
Padma Bhushan (1966) Government of India
Krishi Ratna (1986) Government of India
Wateler Peace Prize (1986) Carnegie Foundation (Netherlands)
World Food Prize (1989) World Food Prize Foundation
International Person of the Year (1993) World Dairy Expo
Order of Agricultural Merit (1997) Ministry of Agriculture, France
Padma Vibhushan (1999) Government of India

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About Megha Rani

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  • Ranchi, Jharkhand
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