Nilgiris 1905

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Type Privately held
Genre Supermarket chain
Founded 1905 as The Nilgiri Dairy Farm Ltd. (Coonoor, British India)
Founders Muthuswamy Mudaliar
Headquarters Whitefield, Bangalore - Corporate Office
Key people Muthuswamy Mudaliar, Chenniappan

Nilgiris is a supermarket chain in South India. It is also one of the oldest supermarket chains in India with origins dating back to 1905 and hence its products are sold under the brand name of "Nilgiris 1905". Also, unlike almost all other supermarkets and grocery shops in India, Nilgiris sells its own products among other brands.


The origin of this supermarket chain can be traced back to Muthusamy Mudaliar of Erode district in Tamil Nadu, who was a mail runner for the British in colonial India. Muthusamy carried letters and cheques for the British from Coimbatore to the hill stations of Ooty and Coonoor. As he was flooded with requests to carry dairy products and other items, he opened a small shop in 1905, after buying the butter business of an Englishman in Vannarpet and soon, "The Nilgiri Dairy Farm Ltd." was established. In 1936, he moved his shop to Brigade Road, Bangalore. The Nilgiri Dairy Farm Ltd. specialized in dairy, dairy products, bakery and chocolates. In 1962 the town of Erode sees the setting up of the specialized dairy unit that enhances the capacity of the company to manufacture its signature hig-quality dairy products. Nilgiris bakery and dairy products manufacturing facility at Vendipalayam village in Erode town was the initial modern facility for the Nilgiris family. The produce was supplied to Bangalore on a daily basis from Erode. Nilgiris also operated a restaurant in Erode town and was famous all over the region. Muthusamy's son Chenniappan expanded the company by setting up a modest store in Bangalore to sell Nilgiris' own products. However, after Chenniappan's visit to the U.S. and Europe, this modest store was expanded into a supermarket. Though Chenniappan was influenced by the supermarket concept in the U.S. and Europe, he developed the Nilgiris supermarket to fit in with the local culture and set guidelines for its growth. Soon, the Nilgiris supermarket chain spread to Erode, Coimbatore and Chennai.

In September–October 2008, Actis, a UK-based private equity investor, invested US$65 million in the Nilgiris Group in order to strengthen the group's manufacturing and franchising operations in South India. This investment has given Actis a controlling interest (more than 51% stake) in the Nilgiris group.


  1. Storehouse of values
  3. Actis set to buy controlling stake
  4. Aiding in good living