About Nalli

Established in the year 1928, Nalli has been a leader in the textile and retail business,
and a household name for exquisite silks. We are 90 years of grace & legacy, an iconic
heritage brand steeped in tradition.

We are first and the finest, and have earned the patronage of customers across generations,
by virtue of staying true to its core values of trust and quality.

We are

Under the visionary Nalli Chinnasami Chetty, the family-run brand earned the customers' trust and became a household name for pure silks and traditional sarees. After thirty years, the family baton was passed on to the grandson, Nalli Kuppusami Chetty who has been awarded the Padma Shri in 2003 - India's fourth highest Civilian Honour - for his contribution to Trade & Industry.

Heritage & Legacy

The story began in 1928, when a store in Chennai, in the popular area of Thyagaraja Nagar. Nalli Chinnasami Chetty vision was to make Nalli the ultimate saree destination, a hallmark of purity. When other stores closed down during the World War II, it was this landmark store which remained open to cater to customers' needs. Such unmatched focus on customer centricity is what has made this an iconic name in silk sarees. From celebrities such as former President Dr Rajendra Prasad, and the queen of carnatic music M.S. Subbulakshmi (for whom Nalli presented a saree woven in a unique shade of blue, later labelled as the 'MS Blue'), to the common people, Nalli has remained a long-time favourite.
Over the years, Nalli has opened multiple stores in major cities; including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad and many more and have presence across US, Singapore & Canada too.

Customer Centricity

In a radical departure from convention, Nalli Kuppusami decided that the shop would do no discount selling - an unheard-of prospect back in the 1950s. Since then it has been a pioneer in the field of textiles, leading the change for the entire industry. In today's world of sales and offers that lure the buyers, Nalli still maintains an 'Every Day Value Price' strategy, wherein the focus is on operational excellence and optimal cost structures to bring high-quality products to the consumers at affordable, value-based pricing, without compromising on design or quality. We stood for unrivalled quality at competent prices with a growing number of loyal customers.

Timeline

1911

A Souvenir For King George V
When King George V visited India, he stopped over at Madras. It was decided that a hand-crafted Kanchipuram Silk Saree would be gifted to him as a souvenir from Tamil Nadu, and Mr. Chinnasami Chetty was chosen for this prestigious occasion. As the occasion coincided with the King's corona-tion, Mr. Chetty wove a rich silk saree with a special border which he named 'Durbar Pet', or the 'Coronation Border'. At Nalli, Durbar Pet sarees are available even today, on special request.v

Shades of Change
In 1921, when a Swiss pharmaceuticals firm named Geigy wanted to test the market its chemical dyes and replace vegetable dyes, weavers were reluctant. All except Nalli Chinnasami Chetty. He dared to change, and others followed soon, opening the doors to a myriad of colours.

1921

1928

Madras Calling
By 1928, the famed Kanchipuram weaver, Chinnasami Chetty, was visiting Madras twice a week. As an astute businessman, he decided Thyagaraja Nagar near Mambalam station would be his residence and depot. He later assigned his son-in-law, Mr. P. Lakshmiah Chetty, to manage the deliveries from Kanchipuram, while he managed the retailing front. The rest, as they say, is history.

Standing strong during World War II
In 1939, as World War II raged all around, the air was filled with despair. Frightened by imminent bombing and armour rolling in, terrified citizens cleared the city. Hundreds of businessmen shut shop and relocated. The Madras High Court shifted to Holy Angels School in Pondy Bazaar, T Nagar. Amidst all the pandemonium, however, one business remained open: Nalli. People from all over Madras came to Nalli for any purchase, however small. It was this dedication that permanently etched the Nalli name into the hearts of the people of Madras, forever transforming it into not just a saree shop, but a symbol of the city's defiance.

1939

1951

A Saree for the Legend
One crisp summer morning in 1951, the late M.S. Subbalakshmi, one of the greatest names Car-natic music has ever known, walked into a Nalli store with a blue thread in her hand. The thread was of a particular shade of blue, one that she wanted a saree fashioned out of. As that particular color was not commercially available, Nalli experimented with dyes in their own workshops and true to Nalli's reputation, she got her wish fulfilled by an exquisite Kanchipuram silk saree in a unique shade of blue. From then on, that particular shade came to be known as MS Blue.

The Queen's Coronation
In 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth's coronation, from Tamil Nadu, Mr. V.A.K. Raghu of Royal Insurance was invited for the occasion. Thrilled by the invite, he decided to get something extra special as a gift for her majesty. What he took was one of the India's finest silk sarees: A Nalli.

1953

1958

Passing the baton
It was time for the new generation to take charge. Mr. Kuppusami Chetty, the grandson of Nalli Chinnasami Chetty, rose up to the occasion and entered the family business. Keeping with the dedication towards quality and customer satisfaction, Mr. Kuppusami Chetty decided to do away with discounts. This was done as a measure to always offer goods at affordable prices for different economic groups, without compromising on quality.

A household name
A household name Nalli came to be known as the ultimate destination for wedding sarees. People traveled from smaller cities and towns to Chennai to buy silk sarees and dhotis for weddings and other important occasions. Nalli became a household name that customers trusted for high-quality silk sarees.

1970

1973

Yes, Prime Minister
Politics never looked so elegant after Indira Gandhi made handloom the sartorial language of India. The late Prime Minister visited Nalli in Chennai and showed her love for Kanchipuram Silks.

Embracing Technology
Nalli became the first textile retailer to use barcodes and computerized billing systems. This revolutionary move paved way for ease of doing business and for serving the customers better.

1980

1985

The Second Store
With more and more customers coming in, word of mouth made people travel from near and far to buy a Nalli saree. As loyal customers increased, so did the demand for Nalli to step out of Chennai and look for new areas to serve the customers. Thus, Nalli opened their next store in Madurai.

Delhi Durbar
After establishing a name in south India, it was time to move up north. For this, Nalli held an exhibition-cum-sale in New Delhi to test the north Indian market. Today, the stores in Delhi are a favorite shopping destination for saree lovers.

1991

1992

Silken Singapore
It was also the time Nalli to serve their customers outside the country. The first step in this direction was setting up a store in Singapore, where the large Tamil Diaspora welcomed the store with open arms.

The Way Forward
With a growing number of loyal customers, Nalli has opened its stores across major cities in India and also in the US. Keeping in mind the needs of saree lovers across the globe, Nalli introduced its online portal. Just like in the stores, the online portal www.nalli.com showcases an extensive collection of sarees woven using the highest-quality fabrics. Customers who do not have a Nalli store in their city can shop online and get quality sarees delivered to their doorstep.

2000 & beyond