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IN FOCUS

Nirula's, the popular fast-food eatery in North, turns 75
Monday, 16 March, 2009, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Nirula's, the popular eatery in the North that sells chocolate fudges, burger, pizza, ice-cream and lots more, is celebrating its 75th year in consumer service. Nirula's was the first to introduce burgers in India. Later, it added Indian dishes, sizzlers, pizzas and ice-creams to the menu with an emphasis on quick service and convenience. In July 2006, Malaysia-based Navis Capital had acquired a majority stake in Nirula's from its founders Lalit and Deepak Nirula.

Since June 2006, Nirula's has been owned by Malaysia headquarterd private equity fund Navis capital partners and Samir Kuckreja, a relative of the Nirula family.

Started 75 years ago by Lalit and Deepak Nirula at Connaught Place in New Delhi, Nirula's has now grown to as many as 62 outlets across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. CEO and MD Samir Kuckreja said there would be around 200 outlets by 2011.

"We will soon be entering new territories like Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities in the western and eastern regions. Along with metros, the focus will also be on tier II and III cities like Pathankot, Moradabad, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Agra," Kuckreja said. It has also plans to make its presence in the US, the UAER, Nepal and Pakistan very soon.

"Nirula's has a rich Indian heritage as we have always kept our customers in mind, his likes and dislikes, what he wants to eat, his spending power, and the ambience. These things set us apart from our contemporaries," says Sudipta Sengupta, Nirula's senior vice-president of marketing and sales.

"Initially, we started as a quick service outlet but after seeing the response from our customers, we added Indian dishes and made some changes to our menu," she added. According to her, it is the spirit of innovation that separates Nirula's from other fast food joints. "We believe in experimenting and innovation; as a result we are ahead of our contemporaries. There was a time when we hit a bad phase, but that taught us the key to survival," Sudipta explained. What also sets this food chain apart from the rest is its ice-cream that is loved by people of every age group. Sudipta said, "It is a fact that ice-cream is the backbone of our existence, we just can't afford to ignore it. We have been introducing a new flavour every month and this experimentation makes people come back to us."

But Nirula's is much more than an ice-cream parlour, of course. Sudipta said: "We are a typical family style restaurant and our menu offers loads of options for every age group. Hence everyone in the family is happy because there is something for everyone."
 
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