Monday, June 23, 2008

Book Review "I too had a dream"

“I too had a dream” is an inspiring autobiography of Dr.Verghese Kurien, popularly known as the man behind Operation Flood. Dr.Kurien has in the past served as the Chairman of the NDDB (National Dairy Development Board) and the GCMMF (Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation) the orgainsation that owns the “Amul” brand. He was instrumental in foundation of the IRMA (Institute of Rural Management, Anand) and currently works as its Chairman. The book presents his life journey as an ambitious young man to an “employee of the farmers” framing the largest dairy development programme in the world.

Mr.Kurien who is the nephew of the late Mr.John Mathai, the former Finance Minister of India, worked with Telco before joining the Michigan State University course on Dairy Technology, which he saw as an escape route to foreign lands. Thereafter he was forced to work with the Gujurat Government’s cremeary at Anand, where he met his future mentor “Tribhuvandas Patel” and was introduced to the Kiara Milk Cooperative Society. One can find in the book elaborate details on the hurdles that he faced and the methodologies adopted in making the milk cooperatives a success story.

Pages of interest and ofcourse learnings are his takes on the importance of branding and advertising. Also of interest are his views on social development, which according to him is possible in a democratic institution only if “people are involved in the development process from grass root level”. The book also presents learnings on how to run and manage cooperatives. Last but not the least Dr.Kuriens’s life is a live example of what a person can achieve if stood by own dreams!

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