Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award - 1999

After creating ripples in the market whether it be with a Rs. 20/- Pizza or with a "real" Ice Cream, Amul has done it again. But this time, it is not only for new product launches or giving a tough fight to best of the food companies in extremely competitive segments, it has now topped as the winner of the "Best of All" Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award for the year, 1999. 

The award which is considered equivalent of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award of USA and European Quality Award, is the most prestigious award which recognizes achievements of an organization in terms of excellence in business results, business processes, customer satisfaction as well as societal and environmental impact.

GCMMF, the apex marketing body of well known Amul, Sagar and Dhara brands of products is a Cooperative Federation of more than 2 million milk producers of Gujarat. Pioneered by Dr. Verghese Kurien, the father of white revolution, GCMMF is today nation's largest food company with an annual turnover exceeding Rs 2300 Crores.

Looking at the emerging trends of liberalization and impact of WTO, the GCMMF proactively embarked upon Total Quality Management as a change management initiatives to strengthen all its functional processes to effectively combat emerging competition. It undertook successfully a number of TQM initiatives like Kaizen, Housekeeping, Small Group Activities, Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment) across the organization.

Realising that unless the TQM initiatives are accepted by all the business partners, the same would remain ineffective. As a very unique measure Amul extended all the TQM initiatives to its business partners whether it was the farmer producer in the village or a wholesale distributor in a metro town or its most sophisticated production unit.

Shri B.M. Vyas, Managing Director, who championed this movement realized way back in 1994 that with emerging competition, doing business would become more exciting yet extremely competitive which would require at times not only a whole set of new skills and competencies but quick adaptability to change without much stress or turbulence. The initiation of TQM was to work with the well known quality management initiatives which have proven to be effective elsewhere to create a culture of transparency, openness and leadership in the organization.

Employees of GCMMF have done more than 1.60 lakhs Kaizen since May, 1995 which has impacted in bringing in a culture of continuous improvement. The housekeeping initiatives have helped keeping the offices/warehouses neat, clean and more productive, be it be the Office premises or the godowns or even Computers. More than 150 SGAs (Small Group Activity) have been carried out in cross functional groups to address the problem and pain areas of the organization, be it an issue of sales, marketing, HR or IT. The organization has implemented a customized ERP for seamless integration of its 40 odd sales offices from Jammu to Port-Blair and Head Office. All its wholesale dealers are computerized and GCMMF is moving on a B2B model for integration interface with its dealers be it for placing order for buying its products, sharing information or for tracking logistic of dispatch/receipt of goods.

One of the unique initiatives has been in terms of involvement of its wholesale dealers in a common platform to address issues of market/customers. All the wholesale dealers from across the country have visited Anand in a unique programme called "AMUL YATRA". In the next phase, the organization has already started inviting the salesmen of these wholesale dealers for this programme. It also intends to invite the top retailers of various cities/towns to Anand. The purpose is not as much to orient them to GCMMF's business plans, but to inculcate a super-ordinate goal in their heart that when they are associated with AMUL, they are working for a modest milk producer in the rural hinterland of the country and that is what true progress is about. GCMMF has more than 200 Amul Quality Circles in the country where all the above wholesale Dealers meet in group on every third Saturday of the month to discuss their business, quality initiatives and also pain areas. This has impacted tremendously not only in communication but also in improving the transparency in the organization.

GCMMF has also embarked upon for last 4 years, 'Hoshin Kanri' a ployment initiative where more than 100 Officers/Heads participate twice in a year to review its business goals/processes and implement new initiatives. These are further cascaded to the wholesale dealers in different territories in a two day exercise called Vision Mission Strategy (VMS) Workshop. These initiatives have resulted common understanding of goals, eliminating communication barrier.

The initiative of TQM six years back has made the organization efficient whether it be in launch of brands, or in implementing ERP's or expanding its distribution network. More striking feature of GCMMF's TQM experience is the integration of its business linkages at the village level to the forward linkage through its sales offices/wholesale dealers in the market.

In a glittering function organized at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 12th November, 2001, Shri Shanta Kumar, Hon'ble Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution gave away the awards to Shri B.M. Vyas, MD of GCMMF.