Well, this headline may confuse you a bit, but there is no confusion at all! Automatic teller machines (ATMs) not only dispense money, ATM-like machines also vend other products such as chocolates and soft drinks. But, Amul has gone a step further. It will now sell milk through ‘Any Time Milk’ vending machines.

The pilot project of 24×7 Any-Time Milk (ATM) Machines began with the installation of a automatic vending machine at the gate of Amul Cooperative Dairy in Anand and Kheda towns of Gujarat on April 8, 2015. In these towns, these ATMs will be installed at different public places to enable the consumers to buy milk whenever needed.

“To start with, we plan to set up these ATMs at each of the 1100 ‘mandalis’ (village-level milk collection centres) in Kheda and Anand districts where we market Amul,” said Ramsinh Parmar, the Chairman of Kheda District Milk Producers’ Union, popularly known as Amul Dairy. He said Amul Dairy is in talks with the Kheda District Cooperative Bank to work out further financial aspects of the project.

While Kheda Union, which owns the Amul brand, markets milk in Anand and Kheda districts, the rest is marketed by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) elsewhere. The GCMMF is also likely to follow suit after a review of the ongoing project.

The ATM machine can store around 200 pouches of milk, each of 300 ml. The milk costs Rs.10 per pouch. The milk pouches are kept in the automatic dispensing machine which also keeps them chilled under 4 degrees Celsius. There are several types of milk products, ranging from single toned, double toned, fat free, Amul Taaza and full cream.

The machine will be operated by such people who can put milk pouches in the machine, inform dairy if more supply is needed and also provide Rs.10 note to consumers. This service will help daily workers, street vendors or construction workers, who return from their work late evenings or at nights. They would be able to get milk at their convenience, since the machine is operational for 24 hours.

At present, six ATMs have been installed in various parts of Anand and Kheda. Rahul Kumar, the Managing Director of Amul Dairy said – “We will not only add more ATMs but a whole range of dairy products will be available through these machines. We will design such a machine to deliver flavoured milk, cheese packets and chocolates”. The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, which runs Amul, has plans to replicate the innovative model across major cities of India very soon.