GCMMF's Cooperative Structure

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR205
Case Length : 15 Pages
Pages Period : 1991-2006
Organization : GCMMF, AMUL, NDDB
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : India
Industry : Dairy Products

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"In reality, though, Anand remained an isolated example of one man's tenacity and resourcefulness. Most other federations were stuck with bureaucratic red tape and mismanagement. Politicians saw them as useful vote banks and bureaucrats invariably cornered the chairman's post, nudging aside other genuine producers." 1

- Businessworld, in 2003.

"I am anguished and pained by the recent move of the GCMMF board against me. Having served the cooperative dairy sector for over five decades, do I deserve this treatment from the board members? Such acts pain me and raise concerns in my mind about where the movement that all of us built so assiduously is headed." 2

- Verghese Kurien, Ex-Chairman, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, in 2006.

End of an Era

In March 2006, Verghese Kurien (Kurien), popularly known as the 'Father of the White Revolution' in India, announced his resignation from Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) which marketed its products under the brand name 'AMUL'. Kurien had been the Chairman of the federation since its inception in 1973.

Kurien resigned after learning that the board members of GCMMF were planning to oust him.

Kurien said, "The board has only become a pawn in the bigger game plan of some vested interests bent upon capturing the co-operative body. My worry is that the federation, which has emerged as the symbol of co-operative success should not succumb to such designs and in the process harm the interests of farmers."3

Another factor that influenced Kurien's decision to quit was an order by the High Court of Gujarat, stating that co-opted members could not be a part of the executive committee of cooperatives in Gujarat.4

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Financial Express5 commented, "Dr Kurien's exit from GCMMF marks the end of an era in the dairy movement in India. Analysts of the sector the world over recognize him as a one-person army who took on the might, both the bureaucracy and vested private interests."6 For several years, Kurien had been in a tussle with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), protesting against its moves to corporatize the cooperatives.

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