Nandini Milk is now a global brand: MD on sponsorship of Ireland and Scotland teams at T20 World Cup | Exclusive

It is time for the milk war between two large dairy cooperatives – Amul and Nandini – on another ground. The cooperatives are sponsoring the T20 World Cup teams in the upcoming matches to be co-hosted by the West Indies and the United States between June 1 and 29.

Nandini, the famous brand from Karnataka, is all set to sponsor the Ireland and Scotland teams, while Amul will be the sponsor of the USA and South Africa teams.

Nandini, who had earlier sponsored the Bengaluru Bulls in the Pro-Kabaddi League, will have his logo prominently featured on the main arm (right arm for left-handed batsmen and left for right-handers) of batsmen's jerseys.

MK Jagadish, Managing Director of Nandini, Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), spoke exclusively to News18 about the idea behind the move and how he believes it will benefit the brand.

Edited excerpts:

You sponsor the Irish and Scottish teams in this T20. How was this idea born?

Nandini has the second largest cooperative inventory in the country. We have a farmer-friendly policy and this year we had 16.36 lakh liters of curd and 51 lakh liters of milk, which is the highest ever in KMF. Our ice cream sales also saw an increase of 40% compared to last year. We were able to achieve this because we expanded our market from Karnataka to Kerala to Kashi to Chennai. This has given us a great impetus to look beyond Karnataka. Now, Nandini is not limited to Karnataka; it has crossed state and national borders. Promoting the brand to reach every Indian, not only in India but also abroad… Cricket is a sport watched by Indians across the world. We have an exclusive store in the Middle East, including one in Dubai, and plan to open two more, one each in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. We have also received requests to open a store in London. This means that the Nandini brand is no longer local, it is a global brand. A global brand needs a global approach and perspective. Our team and distributors were saying that the only fault Nandini faced, given that the products we manufacture are unparalleled in terms of taste and quality, was the lack of advertising. It was a good opportunity as we had reaped the rewards by sponsoring the Bengaluru Bulls team in the Pro-Kabaddi League.

Is this part of your strategy to showcase Nandini as a global brand?


As the mega-cricket event approached, our board and president indicated that we should try to sponsor a cricket team on the international stage. To our surprise, we are already selling Nandini sweets in the US, making it easier for us to bring our popular brand to matches there.

Cricket is a religion not only for Indians but for many people across the world. You've targeted a sport that will get you maximum mileage. But why the Irish and Scottish teams?

We wanted to sponsor a few popular teams who performed very well in the previous T20 World Cup. However, almost all teams were taken over by other brands. We were offered Ireland and Scotland. They will play four matches each, so we will have eight matches grouped together as a club. We hope that Ireland's position will take the team to the Super 8. This will give us five more matches. Once Ireland start playing other teams, Nandini will be visible as a brand.

Not just a turf war for milk – Amul (Gujarat), Aavin (Tamil Nadu) or Milma (Kerala) – are you taking the competition to the cricket field as well?

TRUE. T20 World Cup is such an event that everyone wants to market their brand. In this day and age, we have to do it, or we'll miss the bus. We also have to compete with other brands. Our brand is farmer-led, so whatever profit we make in Nandini, we pass on 85% of it to the farmers. Ultimately, the more business we do, the more profit we make; the farmer will be the final beneficiary of these efforts. It was imperative to expand our market beyond Karnataka and India.

What is the marking plan on the jerseys?

This will be on the drummer's main arm. If a right-handed bowler wants to bat down the field, his left arm will face the bowler. This is where the Nandini logo will be prominently displayed. The other way for a left-handed batsman.

Amul started this trend when they first sponsored the Dutch team and are now major sponsors of major teams. Is Nandini following Amul's path?

The fact is that Nandini has her own path and we have charted it according to our time and opportunities. We will see what the future holds and hope to explore and sponsor great teams.

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  • Nandini didn't want to sponsor the RCB team?

    We had an opportunity, but the placement we got was not appropriate. We had a placement on the right thigh. As a brand, we thought that the visibility we expected would not be there. So we didn't take it back.

    Rohini Swamy

    Rohini Swamy, Deputy Editor of News18, has been a reporter for almost two days

    first publication: May 03, 2024, 1:19 p.m. IST

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