Nilgiri's Image


South Asia



Deal type

Management buy-in

Investment date


Exit date


Status date


A heritage you can trust

Bombarded by requests to carry dairy products and other items up to the hill stations in Tamil Nadu, Muthusamy Mudaliar, a mail runner for the British in colonial India, decided to open his own shop. He subsequently bought a butter business owned by an Englishman in Vannarpet and in 1905, The Nilgiri Dairy Farm Ltd was born.

From humble beginnings at the turn of the twentieth century to a household name in just over 100 years, Nilgiri’s is now South India’s leading supermarket chain with stores in cities across the region including Chennai, Bangalore and Coimbatore. It’s also a major food brand. Still specialising in dairy and baked goods, Nilgiri’s is a trusted source of high quality produce and retails its much-loved own brand products - Nilgiri’s 1905 - alongside other well-known labels.

Actis invested in Nilgiri’s in 2006 and grew the company’s franchise network across South India, taking it from 30 grocery stores to over 140 stores by November 2014. Actis also worked in partnership with the Nilgiri’s management team to improve trading density per square foot, boost individual store sales and explore new geographies for this popular brand. The Actis Environmental, Social and Governance team was instrumental in helping Nilgiri’s dairy unit obtain ISO 22000 certification (the international standard for food safety management). The bakery manufacturing unit also achieved this certification in 2011 resulting in significant improvement in quality.

Actis sold Nilgiris in November 2014 to Future Consumer Enterprise Limited (FCEL).