Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation Limited, popularly known as Aavin, has announced the online renewal of milk cards and registration for smart cards for all living in Chennai starting February 2013The Hindu had reported, citing a press release. Producing 145.88 lakh litres in a day in the state of Tamil Nadu, Aavin had launched this service only in Anna Nagar area in Chennai, in December 2012, but now this has been extended to all living in Chennai. So far over 2500 people have applied online from across the city and 2000 cards are in the process of being issued, as per the report.

Why launch smartcards, and an online service?

Smart card number is a unique identification number assigned to each customer. Milk is sold to monthly prepaid milk card holders at a price lower than MRP. Previously, when an unique number was not assigned to consumers, anybody who got hold of the monthly prepaid milk card could buy milk at a lower price. To avoid this misuse, a unique identification number is generated for every consumer and given to them as a smart card.

So far consumers have been renewing their milk cards on a scheduled date at an Aavin booth closest to them or at the zonal offices where cards can be renewed from 1 to 13th of every month.  Aavin has launched this service after complaints from senior citizens who had to travel to the zonal offices every month for their card renewal. Hence Aavin officials say that this service has been started as an additional benefit to consumers.

Consumers are required to go to www.aavinmilk.com and apply and register providing the required details. A registration number will be automatically generated which the consumer needs to make a note of. Their application will be approved by Aavin with 48 hours. Using the generated registration number, consumers can log onto the site to check the status of smart card application or collect their card if they have already applied for the card. Consumers are required to produce a printed copy of the online acknowledgement at the local Aavin booth along with the previous month’s card for renewal. Payments can be made for renewal using debit and credit cards.  It takes 2 to 3 weeks for the card to reach the consumers. In the meantime, they can use their consumer id for renewal.

Business of Aavin in Chennai:

The largest portion of Aavin’s business is through the sale of milk says their spokesperson. Chennai distributes over 7 lakh litres of milk every day which is consumed by over 5.5 lakh household. Although Coimbatore began issuing smart card last year due to its smaller volume of sales – 80000 litres a day, Chennai is the first city to launch the online renewal of Aavin smart cards.

This service will definitely reduce the pressure of renewing milk cards on a particular day. However, it would also be useful for them to design a better delivery mechanism to deliver the milk. We are sure the senior citizens will appreciate the effort to significantly reduce their visits to the milk booths every day.

Mother Dairy Retails Online

Mother Dairy, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), and one of the major suppliers of milk and milk products to the Delhi-NCR region in India recently partnered with Noida based ecommerce company Delivery on Call to home deliver its products in Noida. It isn’t retailing milk online, though. More on that story here.