Quality is the key to success for any customer-oriented business organisation, and so is the case with dairy cooperatives that supply their products to households on a daily basis. In pursuit of quality, Madhur Dairy is making an all-out effort to make use of technology to further improve its products, says Shankarsinh R Rana, the company’s Managing Director, in an interaction with Sneha Mejari of Elets News Network (ENN)
Tell us about the origin and evolution of Madhur Dairy.
When I joined Madhur Dairy in 2003, it was quite small in size with a turnover of `66 crore. We started holding meetings in villages with dairy farmers and tried to make them understand the importance of education, lack of which had also led to large scale unemployment. However, those farmers failed to understand the value of education immediately. So, as the next step, we started holding mass awareness campaigns. We conducted various programmes and organised functions, and also arranged lectures to make people aware of the dairy products and its demand. Eventually, this led to a change in the attitude of farmers as well as the success story of Madhur Dairy.
What according to you is the reason behind the success of dairy cooperatives in Gujarat?
After a module started by Tribhuvan Kaka as well as Mr (Verghese) Kurian, farmers started bringing milk to the cooperatives, and the cooperatives by developing a federation created a much bigger market for milk and milk products. This is one of the major reasons behind the success of dairy cooperatives in Gujarat.
For dairy cooperatives, it is extremely important to maintain the quality of products. What is your view about it?
I believe that the quality of products is the main factor leading to success of any dairy. Amul is a popular brand name in the market because of the quality maintained by them. Even at Madhur Dairy, we never compromise on the quality of our products. Our every product has a consumption of 99 per cent in Gandhinagar area. We can take an example of ghee; the quality of ghee is measured by Methyl Red (MR) test. The Amul Ghee has 28 per cent MR, Sagar Dairy has 26 per cent, and Madhur is one dairy which has 33 per cent MR. It clearly proves the quality we try to maintain at our dairy.
What is your strategy for growth in the coming days?
Ever since I have come on board, we have increased the number of sweet products from three items to eight. We didn’t use to produce butter and cheese earlier, but now we produce all of these. Also, we try to introduce a new product every year, which helps the name of Madhur Dairy grow. This year, we did a ‘Mango Mahotsav’, where we tied up with various mango producers and tried to sell the best quality mangoes.
Madhur Dairy is not only trying to grow in the products market, but we are also coming up with a college in the Chirada area. We want the children of farmers to go to this college, which will have good facilities. Although we are not directly into the field of education, we want to do this for the sake of our farmers. This is how we try to ring in development every year in our organisation.
How do you plan to contribute to the development of cooperatives?
If we want true development in cooperative sector, especially in the dairy sector, the government interference must be reduced. For instance, if one wins election and becomes the Chairman for one term, there are a few things he plans for the development of the cooperative body concerned. Later, in the next elections, if another person is elected, he will have different vision and plans, which might not help in rapid development. I have been here for four terms now and am ready with a blue print for the development of Madhur Dairy. However, a little freedom is required to implement it well. This will also allow availability of more facilities to the farmers. Greater the freedom given to the cooperative sector, better the progress will be.
Do you have any demands from the government?
The price of milk has been increased by one rupee starting this month. There are a lot of states where cooperatives are giving subsidies on milk. In Gujarat, ever since the inception, the cooperative sector and the government have been on two different sides. I believe that just as the government provides subsidy on gas, we should have subsidy for both the dairy farmers as well as the consumers that will ensure progress of the dairy cooperatives.
I believe that the quality of products is the main factor leading to success of any dairy. Amul is a popular brand name in the market because of the quality maintained by them
What are your future plans?
As of today, Madhur Dairy procures two lakh litres of milk. We can take this to 10 lakh litres if we get permission to procure milk from areas around Gandhinagar. There are lots of dairies which procure milk from outside the State of Gujarat and we have a vision that by 2020, we will try and procure milk from states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, as the cooperative sector there is not as strong as in Gujarat. Our aim is to become number one with 60 dairy cooperatives in Gujarat.