Deepak Nirula, the co-founder of Nirula’s fast food chain, died on Tuesday, aged 70.
The fast-food chain is often credited with introducing fast food items like burgers and pizzas and desserts like hot chocolate fudge long before international fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Dominos’ started to dominate the palates of Indians.
In 1934, brothers Lakshmi Chand Nirula and Madan Gopal Nirula opened the India Hotel at Connaught Place in Delhi with 12 rooms, a restaurant and a bar. The Nirula brothers had come to Delhi in 1928 and tried their hand at various professions. However, they quickly realized the scarcity of good restaurants in and around the capital. Although completely new to the business, they launched the family hotel a few years later. In the 1940s, the brothers introduced espresso coffee to the capital, with the Indian Coffee Shop on Janpath.
In 1977, their sons, Lalit and Dipak Nirula, launched Nirula’s, concocting a menu the likes of which had never been heard of in this part of the world – filled with pizzas, footlongs, ice cream and of course hot chocolate fudge. Over the past 50 years of its existence, the place has touched the palace, the life and the heart of every Delhiite.
Born on April 3, 1952 in New Delhi, Deepak Nirula accomplished his bachelor’s diploma in lodge administration at Cornell College in 1974. He has additionally been listed as an excellent meals service government by ‘Marquis Who’s Who’.
Through the years, the two brothers ran operations at the chain as co-managing directors. In 2006, private equity firm Navis Capital bought Nirula’s from family ownership and remained invested till 2012.
In June 2012, Navis sold Nirula’s to A2Z Excursions Pvt., a private business group with interests in hotel, real estate, travel and tourism sectors in India, run by businessman Pradeep Chadha.