Unforgotten Brands – Pazhamudir Nilayam


With a focus on customer satisfaction and sustainable growth, Pazhumudir Nilayam continues to evolve, enriching the lives of consumers

After their father passed away in the 1950s, two brothers—ages 9 and 11—from a small village close to Coimbatore had little choice but to forego further education and find employment at a nearby fruit stand.

They used a pushcart to sell fruits like mangoes and apples at bus stations, and they also prepared fruit juice at the shop. N Chinnasamy and N Natarajan, two brothers, toiled away at the dream of opening their store. The brothers eventually parted ways to market fruits in Ooty. The family could not have continued operating without their combined income.

They began setting aside a few paise each day for their as-yet-unnamed business endeavour, driven by an intense desire to strike out on their own with their little wages.

Five years later, they were hired by a spinning mill. The smart brothers wasted no time taking advantage of the circumstances. To make their lifelong ambition a reality, they decided to work different shifts at the mill.

While just one of them was working, the two brothers—who were 18 and 20 years old at the time—opened a fruit stand in Coimbatore and divided up the shifts.

In 1965, the store, initially investing Rs 300, took the name ‘Pazhamudir Nilayam’. Offering reasonable, fixed rates, the shop pioneered the practice of selling goods by weight rather than by the dozen.

It was once believed that fruit stores were very expensive compared to neighbourhood markets; therefore, the outlet did not make a lot of money. The fruits it offered were of high quality and available at a reasonable price, which was its advantage over others.

The constant haggling had worn some individuals down. The public saw that they were receiving good value from their purchases.

Even though Pazhamudir Nilayam didn’t make a splash at first, its “fair-but-fixed-price-concept” fruit quickly became popular. Natarajan calls it the “game-changing neighbourhood market” and says it was the pioneer in its field.

Natarajan started selling pure fruit juice—just the pulp, no water—after seeing a decline in sales. Those who came for the juice ended up purchasing fruits as well.

At first, there were no earnings. It was necessary to remove the unsold fruits from their pushcarts and sell them. As the company began to expand, pushcart sales ceased gradually. In 1983, Pazhamudir made the wise decision to expand his business to include vegetable sales.

By 1983, Pazhamudir Nilayam had expanded to four stores in Coimbatore with Natarajan’s two younger brothers.

All six members of the family—brothers, spouses, and children—shared a single home and split the money equally among the four stores.

That year, the family divided the business, with the eldest brother ensuring his younger siblings received the stores with the highest sales. The store with the highest sales volume was run by the youngest sibling. The company with the second-highest sales went to its third brother, and the chain continued thereafter.

In 1998, Natarajan opened his second location in Tiruppur under the name “Kovai Pazhamudir Nilayam.” His brothers are currently involved with the business, which operates nine Pazhamudir Nilayam shops in Tamil Nadu.

Having said that, the company’s growth in the past decade has been phenomenal. During this time, they established thirty locations, with twenty-one of those in Chennai alone, along with others in Trichy, Thanjavur, and Pondicherry.

They have made a calculated decision to expand their product offerings to include dairy, confections, bread, and grocery goods in their stores.

About two-thirds of our income comes from a subsidiary that Natarajan’s wife established in 2016 to produce natural, nutritious snacks. 

Through unwavering determination, entrepreneurial vision, and a commitment to quality, KPN has emerged as a leading player in the retail landscape, embodying the spirit of innovation and resilience. With a focus on customer satisfaction and sustainable growth, the brand continues to evolve, enriching the lives of consumers and communities across Tamil Nadu and beyond.

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