Even as the nationwide Covid-19 figures near 60,000 and the stringent lockdown continues, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) — which markets milk and milk products under the brand Amul — has begun selling directly to Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) of residential societies in more than seven cities of the country.
With growing enquiries from housing societies in cities where the lockdown has crippled movement to dairies located far away, Amul is now devising a strategy to meet the demand of direct supply. Under this approach, RWA members make sales within the premises of their residential complexes, after procuring products from local distributors based on pre-booked orders from residents. Ice-creams, GCMMF said, is currently the most demanded product.
What began as an experiment in a few residential colonies of Mumbai and Pune, where residents approached Amul to supply milk, has turned into a profitable business model during the ongoing pandemic. Managing Director, GCMMF, RS Sodhi told this newspaper that the Federation has been inundated with queries from cities across the country.
“We started with one colony in Mumbai that asked us if we could supply them products and they will manage the rest. We were surprised that the per day order of a single society, of upto 400 homes, was over Rs 1 lakh. We approached other societies and everyone was more than willing (to partake) in this arrangement. We connected them with our nearest distributors, who would supply them the products at the same rate as they do to the retailers — the trade price. So, it also helps the RWAs earn margins. The margins on butter and ghee are about 10% and about 16% for ice-creams for retailers. The margin on milk, however, is low at three or four percent, So, the monthly income of each society with this arrangement would be up to Rs 1 lakh. We have so many requests now that we are trying to figure out how to supply the products to all,” Sodhi said.
GCMMF has been supplying to over 500 residential societies in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Ahmedabad, cities in West Bengal and other parts of the North, Sodhi said. The distributors, according to GCMMF, have also been enthusiastic with regard to the arrangement. “The distributors are assured about a significant daily margin with the products definitely being sold,” Sodhi said.
The arrangement highlights a huge demand of ice-creams, which have been off shelves in markets since the lockdown. Sodhi said, “People want to have ice-creams, as summer has begun, and they are not available outside. We are getting a lot of orders. We do have stock with us, although we had suspended production for the last month. Apart from this, paneer, ghee, butter, cheese and even Amul beverages are in great demand in residential colonies. They share the product lists on their WhatSapp groups and place orders as per demand, so that there is no question of storage of unsold products. The distributors are supplying the prerequisite quantities everyday.”