This union of milk producers believes firmly in the power of the young.In an era of globalisation, it is not unusual to listen to complaints about the bigger players driving the smaller players out of business. However, smart are those who not only anticipate such developments, but also take the necessary steps to ensure that they retain their customers. Not lagging far behind in this venture is the Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Producers' Union Ltd. based at Kulshekar near Mangalore. Serving scores of customers in the two coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, this milk-marketing cooperative is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that it remains the first choice of the people. Not only does the Union have to battle private players who are fighting hard to chip away at the monopoly enjoyed by it so far, but ensure that it is definitely many steps ahead when multinationals decide to set up shop here.
Kid's verdictOne may wonder where children figure in all this serious issues of business and free market competition. The management of the Union has decided to fall back on the universal mantra of catch them young and have embarked on a drive of promoting its range of products at events featuring children or giving them preference at events organised by them to market its new range of products, as was evident recently.Kaup Diwakar Shetty, president of the Union is of the opinion that the only way the Union can hope to survive the heat of eminent competition in the dairying sector is to create awareness amongst the children about the products manufactured and marketed by it. "This way, we not only ensure their well being through our qualitative products but also create a new customer base for us which is essential for our growth," he says. The Union organised a mega painting competition for school students at the Milagres Parish Hall recently. Children in various age groups were given themes relating to dairying sector to paint. The creativity shown by students in relating to the topic and coming out with paintings reflecting the theme was reassuring for the Union. The winner of the grand prize took home a PC. Even when the Union recently launched its flavoured milk product in the market, children in the audience were the first to taste them. When the Pilikula Nisargadhama Society organised competitions as part of Wildlife Week celebrations, the Union was in the forefront of sponsoring attractive prizes for the children.