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All we need to know about Britannia’s owner Nusli Wadia

One of the earliest billionaires of India, Britannia owner Nusli Wadia, Chairman of Wadia Group, is an icon in himself. He is the name behind some of India’s most heritage brands like Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Corporation Limited, Go Airlines India Limited and more. But how much do you really know about him?

From cookies and bakery items to aviation, Wadia Group has a hold over some of the biggest corporations in India. Having started in an industry that had its roots in shipbuilding, Nusli Wadia today has an impressive net worth of $3.9B, according to Forbes. One of India’s oldest FMCG companies, Britannia’s founder Nusli Wadia is the only descendant of politician and Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah. But this man with such such interesting roots has so much more to his portfolio. Here’s all you need to know about Nusli Wadia.

All you need to know about Britannia owner Nusli Wadia

Early life

Son of Neville Wadia and Dina Wadia, Nusli Wadia was born into a prominent and wealthy Parsi family in Bombay. He is the descendant of his paternal grandfather Sir Ness Wadia, who was a well-known textile industrialist and maternal grandfather Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Britannia owner

Nusli Wadia went to the Cathedral and John Connon School and the Rugby School in England. He later went to the University of Florida, from where he earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering.

Nusli Wadia’s career

The Wadia family started their business back in 1736 with a shipping company founded by Lovji Nusserwanjee Wadia. As the company kept expanding over time, Nusli Wadia then joined Bombay Dyeing as a trainee in 1962.

In 1970, the Britannia owner was appointed as the managing joint director. The next year, in 1971, Nusli got to know that his father was planning to sell the companies to Kolkata’s R. P. Goenka. Even though he was just 26, he had big plans for the companies and was not on board with the idea of selling the companies.

With the help of his mentor J.R.D Tata, his mother and others, he began to purchase 11 percent of the company’s shares so that his father wouldn’t sell it. By 1977, Nusli Wadia had taken over his father as the Chairman of the firm.

How did Nusli Wadia become Britannia’s owner?

Nusli Wadia had a long-awaited dream of entering the cookies and biscuits sector with Britannia. But back then, Britannia was owned by US-based RJR Nabisco Inc. To achieve this dream, Nusli agreed to take over Britannia in India with Huntley and Palmer. That was when he met the Nabisco officials through his friend Rajan Pillai.

But the US firm changed their minds and appointed Pillai as the Chairman of Britannia in India. Pillai later collaborated with the French brand Danone, but they soon fell out as Danone accused Pillai of dishonesty.

Danone then joined forces with Wadia, and after a long judicial battle, Pillai was removed from his post. Wadia took over as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Britannia Industries Limited. On September 5, 1993, he joined as the Britannia Industries Limited’s board of directors and has been the Chairman of Britannia ever since.

Hero Image: Courtesy AFP; Featured Image: Courtesy Forbes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Who is the owner of Wadia Group?

Answer: Nusli Wadia is the owner and Chairman of Wadia Group. With a history dating back to shuilbuilding in 1736, Wadia Group today owns Britannia Industries, home textiles company Bombay Dyeing and budget airline Go First (formerly GoAir).

Question: Who is the CEO of Britannia Ltd?

Answer: Rajneet Kohli is the new CEO of Britannia Ltd, who was appointed in 2022. Before Britannia, Rajneet was the President and Chief Business Officer at Domino's India of Jubilant FoodWorks.

Question: Which company is owned by Britannia?

Answer: Britannia owns a number of India's favourite brands like Good Day, Tiger, NutriChoice, Milk Bikis and Marie Gold

Question: Who created Britannia?

Answer: Britannia was founded in 1892 by a group of British businessmen with an initial investment of INR 295. In the beginning, the biscuits were manufactured in a small house in central Kolkata.

All we need to know about Britannia’s owner Nusli Wadia

A journalism student who studied the subject only to meet SRK in person, she settled for the best way to meet him. Covering Entertainment throughout her career, and now Food, Health and Lifestyle as well, Sreetama is also a self-proclaimed plant mom. In love with all things slow and quiet, she can often be found hunting for quiet corners with a glass of wine in hand. Other loves include little, inconsequential things, like neatly tucked-in bedsheets and big, significant things, like whole cheesecakes. She dreams of being a baker and writing about food someday.


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