MAM

A few more Dr. Kuriens please!

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2017/09/22/dr.jpg?itok=lW04VtDD

MUMBAI: I have a personal story to share about Dr Kurien. They say that opposites attract. Never was this truer than in the case of Ravi Mathai, the first Director of IIM Ahmedabad and Dr. Kurien.They were the greatest of friends and they disagreed on just about everything. Ravi Mathai was an advocate of free enterprise and Dr Kurien the most visible face of the cooperative movement in India.One has to know each one well to know the regard they had for each other. At the institute, Ravi told me, "Arvind, management institutes focus on the process of management and it is important to learn. But when you have a few years management experience under your belt, you must go and meet Verghese Kurien. And ask for his advice on the purpose of management".

After passing out of IIM Ahmedabad, I joined Voltas in marketing and sales. The division I worked in was the Consumer Products Division. At that time, this division used to market and distribute products of a host of manufacturers. The largest range in the PCP portfolio was Amul dairy products. And as I soon learnt, the greatest challenge Voltas faced was not how to sell Amul product but how to ensure that the products reach real retailers and consumers. And not fall in the hands of black marketers. Such was the demand for Amul products- and particularly its baby foods. This was not just a testimony to the power of the Amul brand that Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) founded by Dr Kurien had built. It was a testimony to the vision and the exceptional execution abilities of the legendary Dr. Verghese Kurien.

After I completed 10 years in the industry, as Ravi Mathai had suggested, I requested for a meeting with Dr V. Kurien. He laughed and told me, "My friend Ravi was a little bit mis-directed but he was a really good man‘." Dr. Kurien then went on to address my request for advice. He told me that everything that he could tell me about Operation Flood, GCMMF, Mother Dairy or Dhara had been written up. I could read it. Instead, he would prefer to share a personal nugget with me, "I came back from the US after my PhD in agriculture from the US along with another friend of mine. He was smarter than me and a much better agricultural scientist. The difference between him and me was that he came back to India to practice his science. I wanted came back to India with an ambition to do something big. So whatever he did, I did on a bigger scale. If he met the deputy district collector to solve farmers‘ problems, I tried to meet the Chief Minister. If he tried to meet the state Government, I would try to meet the Prime Minister. That‘s how I even went and met the United Nations. And that worked. Arvind, never waste your energy on small things. Push yourself to do big things. It can be scary but you will make the most of your management talent only if you try to do big things." IBM‘s ‘Think big‘ came decades after Dr Kurien had been practicing it.

‘Try to do big things‘ is what pushed Dr. Kurien to take complexsystems head on and redesign them completely. He did not just think

about how to increase the yield of milk from Indian cows. Or of just improving the cattle breed, cattle feed and cattle health. He reinvented the whole system. He had the courage to take on and reshape the social and political framework of the time. To transfer power from the a small number of powerful middlemen who monopolized production procurement and distribution, to numerous smaller stakeholders by forming co-operatives. He reshaped the infra-structure. Dairy products manufacturing. Marketing and distribution. Whether it was Nehru who gave him political support, people in Europe who gave him free machinery or people at WHO gave him tonnes of skimmed milk powder, everybody could sense his undying commitment to bringing about a big change and supported that commitment. His commitment is what won him followers among farmers, the government and other stakeholders.

And he did not stop with Operation Flood. Experiences from the dairy revolution were reapplied to oilseeds. And then extended to the fruits and vegetables sector. Some of us may remember the campaigns featuring the then chief election commissioner, T N Seshan promoting vegetarianism, ‘Main sabko kaccha kha jaoonga‘.

Most of us rightly remember Dr. Kurien as the poster boy of cooperative movement and as an engineer of grass root prosperity. However, in an era where only large multinationals advertised, Dr. Kurien understood the power of communications. He gave India one of its first true brands in Amul which is a household name across the country today. The campaign conceived in his time still continues to decorate billboards across the country. And more importantly he understood that brand awareness is built through communication but brand affinity is built through a brand‘s over-all value proposition. Multinational players have generally found it impossible to beat the amazing value propositions he designed.

Today, we live in times where most of us are overwhelmed by the challenges the nation faces. We will do well to seek inspiration from Dr. Verghese Kurien. Yes, we still have too many poor living on meager incomes. We still have too many uneducated people. We still have millions of people with no access to healthcare. We have corruption... However if, amongst 1.2 billion people, we can find 15 Verghese Kuriens, if 15 among us choose to be Verghese Kuriens, today‘s enormous challenges are actually cleverly disguised opportunities. Opportunities for us to think big, solve the country‘s problems, bring health, education and prosperity to our nation. And to create new models for tackling these challenges for the rest of the emerging world to follow.

(Arvind Sharma is chairman, Leo Burnett India Subcontinent)

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/12/savlon.jpg?itok=394aS9Bm
Savlon shows reality of mother's love

Savlon, a health and hygiene brand from the house of ITC has launched a campaign ‘Bharosa Maa Sa’. It is a heartfelt tribute to the healing touch of mothers highlighting a simple moment of truth that every individual relates to.

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/12/M%20K.jpg?itok=lxg-i-zi
Mindshare appoints M K Machaiah as chief innovation officer

MUMBAI: India’s largest full service media agency, Mindshare, a part of GroupM has appointed MK Machaiah, known as Mac, as chief innovation officer for South Asia.

MAM Media and Advertising People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/12/youtube.jpg?itok=j0JuH5zZ
LG astronaut becomes the most watched ad in India this year

MUMBAI: YouTube has released its annual year-end edition of the YouTube Ads Leaderboard 2017 capturing the most celebrated ads that received maximum views, shares, and love from audiences across India. Together, the top 10 ads generated a whopping 200 million views.

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/12/ola.jpg?itok=8O9ddgr6
Ola gets Viraj Chouhan to head communications

MUMBAI: Cab hailing service Ola has appointed Viraj Chouhan as its chief communications officer. In his new role, Chouhan would be reporting to co-founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal and will be based in Gurgaon, shuttling between the Millennium City and Bangalore.

MAM Marketing Brands
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/11/Levi.jpg?itok=i_ggieNm
Levi's hands over media duties to OMD

MUMBAI: Following a comprehensive market review, Levi’s has appointed OMD India to handle its media duties from its Bengaluru office.

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/11/Dentsu.jpg?itok=SFcfbyL9
Dentsu Webchutney to handle creative for Goomo

MUMBAI: Dentsu Webchutney, the digital agency from Dentsu Aegis network, has been assigned as the lead creative agency for Goomo.com, an omnichannel, travel-tech company that operates across consumer, corporate and B2B segments. The account will be managed by Dentsu Webchutney’s Mumbai office.

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/11/Festival-Bharat_0.jpg?itok=VAxKHszU
Festival of Bharat to cast the spotlight on India

MUMBAI: History repeats itself but this time there’s a twist. A London-based investor and indophile is spellbound by India but he’s got better plans. Cory Bixler has co-founded a festival that celebrates and aims to promote India’s culture to the world - The Festival of Bharat (FoB).

MAM Media and Advertising Event Agencies
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/09/nutri-choice.jpg?itok=kj4BA9Se
Britannia NutriChoice promotes healthy food choices

MUMBAI: Health is tough and requires a lot of sacrifice. This is the perception that deters most people from adopting a healthier lifestyle. In its new TVC campaign, Britannia NutriChoice Digestive puts forth a refreshing new point of view that when you start on your health journey, while the...

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/09/Sumanto.jpg?itok=o0U8gnck
Soho Square wins creative mandate for Medlife

MUMBAI: Soho Square Bangalore has won the creative mandate for MedLife, the healthcare app. The agency has been awarded the reins of the account in the aftermath of a competitive multi-agency pitch. Soho Square will now partner with MedLife on a journey to simplify healthcare by making the entire...

MAM Marketing MAM

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories