KOCHI: Taking the product to the doorsteps of the consumer is a practice followed by many marketing agencies. Providing an uninterrupted facility, popularly known as 24x7 service, is another effective tool to attract the customer.
The Ernakulam region of Milma intends to offer both by introducing a new concept in milk marketing, the Any Time Milk vending machine.
The ATM, as the machine is called by Milma, functions similar to the popular automated teller machines used for money transactions. It has the looks of a large sized refrigerator or the common ATMs installed by banks.
The machine, a dispenser of milk or curd in sachets, is claimed to be the first of its kind in India.
A smart card, with an individual code number, is used for providing commands to the machine. The smart card acts like a pre-paid electronic voucher which can be �charged to various denominations, in an operation resembling the cellular phone recharge.
The machine was developed for Milma by a company based in Chennai. Three machines have been provided to Milma and more could be supplied as per demand, according to company officials.
The machine was launched at a function organised at Renewal Centre, Kaloor. Mayor Mercy Williams inaugurated it. M.T. Jayan, chairman of the Ernakulam Regional Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited, said the machine would be convenient for residents in apartment complexes.
The machine, priced at Rs.1 lakh, is being offered at 25 per cent discount to residential associations, according to Jose Abraham, managing director of the Ernakulam region of Milma. P.T. Gopalakurup, Milma chairman, and other officials of Milma spoke.