Verghese Kurien (’48)

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Sept. 5, 2017

Free lecture on Sept. 13 to honor '48 graduate who revolutionized India's milk industry

R.S. Sodhi, managing director of dairy company Amul India, will posthumously honor Michigan State University alumnus Verghese Kurien with the Kurien Memorial Lecture at 4 p.m. Sept. 13 in the auditorium of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.Verghese Kurien ('48, mechanical engineering) is known as the Milkman of India. He revolutionized the milking industry in India.

Kurien (1921-2012) received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MSU in 1948. 

Sodhi’s lecture, “India’s Milk Revolution: Verghese Kurien and the Story of Amul,” will take the audience through a journey of Kurien’s life and contributions to rural farmers across India. He played an instrumental role in transforming India from a milk-deficient country to the world’s biggest milk producer. 

Sodhi will cover Kurien’s role in the founding of Amul and its growth into India’s largest milk cooperative and food company. Amul is known not only for the breadth of its products and sales, but also for the scale and reach of its inclusive economics. More than 3.6 million smallholder producers deliver milk for collection at more than 18,000 villages every day. 

Sodhi will share his vision for Amul’s future and outline the opportunities and challenges in the context of India’s growing middle class and the need for economic, environmental and social sustainability. He will also profile the personal attributes and accomplishments of Kurien and the ways they still inspire today. 

The event is sponsored by various MSU departments and colleges and is free and open to the public. A networking reception will follow the lecture at 5 p.m.

Read more on the MSU ceremony in 2016 that honored the Milkman of India.