The Amul brand and its cooperative model formed in the years that followed. India's federal government eventually rolled out the privatized model in other states.
Through the years, Amul has maintained its focus on empowering farmers. All aspects of its dairy business -- farms, feed plants, marketing, logistics and research -- are a part of the cooperative and owned by the farmers.
"That's the peculiarity of the Amul model," Mr. Kumar said.
Having "India's most well-known food brand," according to a study by the Harvard Business School, hasn't hurt.
"If you go to any city in India, you'll find this very cheeky girl," Mr. Kumar said, speaking of the dark-haired "Amul butter girl" who is the face of India's largest food brand.
"Growing Business and Promoting Entrepreurship" was the theme of this year's USA India Business Summit. Now in its fourth year, it is the largest Southeast U.S. conference bringing together diplomats, entrepreneurs, educators and policy makers interested in Indian-U.S. relations.
Amul isn't the only Indian company that has used the country's rural masses as a key sourcing base.
Two Indian carpet companies with operations in Atlanta, Surya and Jaipur Rugs, employ weavers in rural villages, allowing them to own the means of production.
For more information on the summit, visit www.usaindiabusinesssummit.com.
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