Corporate Social Responsibility, The Amul Way

Aug 07 2004, 00:00 IST
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been defined as the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development working with employees, their families, the local community, and society at large to improve their quality of life, in ways that are both good for business and good for development.

To meet with the CSR it is expected that a business in its entire procurement-production-processing-marketing chain should focus on human development involving the producer, the worker, the supplier, the consumer, the civil society, and the environment.

Indeed, a very tough task. Most businesses would certainly flounder in not being able to achieve at least one or many of those expectations. But AMUL has shown the way.

CSR-sensitive Organisational Structure
AMUL is a three tier co-operative organisation. The first tier is the co-operative society at the village,of which; milk producers are voluntary members, managing the co-operative through a democratically elected 9-member managing committee, and doing business by purchasing milk from members and selling it to the district level co-operative. There are more than 11,000 co-operatives in villages of Gujarat.

The second tier is the district co-operative that processes milk into milk products, markets locally and sells surplus to the state co-operative for national and international marketing. There are 12 district co-operatives each being managed by a 15-member board elected by the college comprising the nominated representatives or chairmen of the village co-operatives.

Third tier is the state level co-operative - the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) responsible for national and international marketing of milk and milk products produced and sold to it. The GCMMF is managed by the board democratically elected by and from amongst the chairmen of the district co-operatives.

The entire three-tier structure with the GCMMF at its apex, is a unique institution because it encompasses the entire chain from production of raw material to reaching the consumer with the end product. Every function involves human intervention: 23.60 lakh primary milk producers; 35,000 rural workmen in more than 11,400 village societies; 12,000 workers in 15 dairy pla-nts; 750 marketing professionals; 10,500 salesmen in distribution network and 600,000 sal-esmen in retail network. Accu-mulation of human capital is sine qua non for the development and growth of any enterprise or economy. The GCMMF is sensitive towards CSR. It believes that technology and capital are replicable inputs but not the human capital. Since men are the basis for achieving the CSR, the GCMMF lays emp-hasis on their development into

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