Amul focuses on ice-cream; eyes 17% growth to Rs 3,200 crore

Anand: Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), one of India''s greatest success stories with its Amul brand, is now aiming at a 17-per cent growth in sales to Rs 3,200 crore this fiscal against sales of Rs 2,746 crore in the previous year ended 31 March 2003.

The federation is expecting each of its products to contribute higher sales this year as new products are being added to each product line.

The big hope is not surprisingly the Amul brand of ice-creams, which is expected to contribute Rs 250 crore to the turnover, up from Rs 150 crore last year. Says GCMMF managing director B M Vyas: "Last year we saw a good growth in ice-cream, cheese, butter and ghee. We are planning to launch new products in almost every line that we are in, with specific stress on ice-creams."

For its ice-cream and milk business, GCMMF has begun investing in increasing its milk capacity. It recently firmed up plans to invest Rs 100-120 crore to expand this from 1.1 million litres a day to 1.8 million litre a day at its Gandhinagar factory. The investment will take place over the next two years.

The cooperative is also planning to expand its production facilities beyond Gujarat to service other regions in India. GCMMF recently bought an ice-cream manufacturing unit in Nagpur and is installing a dairy unit alongside. Through this unit, the organisation has also extended its milk supply to over 10 cities spread over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Amul is now focusing on its supply system. Efforts are on to ensure greater availability of Amul ice-cream at pushcarts and small outlets. The company feels that availability is the most important factor in ice cream sales. Thus, Amul ice-cream can be found in ''just around the corner shops,'' local STD booths, local kirana shops, chemists and bakers, who stock the ice-cream in deep freezers.