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COMFED: the new challenges of diversification

Sanjay Dhir (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India)
Swati Dhir (International Management Institute New Delhi, Delhi, India)

Publication date: 24 June 2017


Subject area

COMFED, Bihar State Co-operative Milk Federation Ltd., which involved 6 lakh farmers across India in 2012, was a rural organisation established in 1983 as the implementing agency of Operation Flood programme of dairy development on “Anand” pattern in Bihar. In 1983, COMFED started with just 1,030 cooperatives, which had risen to 11,400 in 2012. Apart from B2C segment of milk and milk products in Bihar and Jharkhand, COMFED’s major revenue source was its B2B business where they sent bulk milk to Kolkata, Manesar and Delhi. They supplied to Amul and Mother Dairy, which were the biggest Indian cooperatives, and allowed them to use their own brand names. In 2012, Mrs Harjot Kaur, the Managing Director of COMFED, aspired to market COMFED products all over India under the “Sudha” brand, with special focus on National Capital Region region. Moreover, Mrs Kaur also wanted to expand COMFED’s geographical reach to other countries such as Bangladesh and Bhutan.

Study level/applicability

Strategic management, Diversification.

Case overview

Mrs Harjot Kaur was the Managing Director of Bihar State Co-operative Milk Federation (COMFED). COMFED is a rural organisation involving 6 lakh farmers. Starting with just 1,030 cooperatives in 1983, the number of cooperatives had risen to 11,400 in 2012. The milk production was 11 lakh litres per day, and the annual turnover in 2011-2012 was Rs 1,503.00 crore, 11 per cent more than that of previous year. Mrs Kaur was committed to serve COMFED customers and realise the dream of having at least one dish of Bihar in the plate of every Indian. Mrs Kaur envisaged COMFED producing 44 lakh litres milk per day from the existing 11 lakh litres per day, covering around 60 per cent villages of the state against the existing 33 per cent in 2013. COMFED was also trying to capture new markets. At present COMFED sent bulk milk to Delhi, Manesar and Kolkata, where it was sold by various dairy cooperatives such as Amul and Mother Dairy under their own brand names. Mrs Kaur aspired to market COMFED milk under the “Sudha” brand all over India. Moreover, Mrs Kaur was also looking to export to other countries such as Bangladesh and Bhutan. As Mrs Kaur was crafting the future path for COMFED, she also realised that above all the external challenges that exist, an internal vice – complacency – was the biggest hurdle her company had to face.

Expected learning outcomes

The case would be helpful for students to understand the concepts of competitive advantage, sustainable competitive advantage, industry structure, general environment, strategic positioning, diversification, internal analysis, external analysis and business level strategy in a strategic management course.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.

Subject code

CSS 11: Strategy.



Dhir, S. and Dhir, S. (2017), "COMFED: the new challenges of diversification", , Vol. 7 No. 2.



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