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MDH owner Dharampal Gulati passes away at 97
New Delhi, December 3, 2020
Dharampal Gulati, the owner and CEO of MDH, the well-known spices brand, passed away at a hospital early this morning. He was 97.
According to sources, Gulati was hospitalised about three weeks ago for treatment of age-related problems. He breathed his last around 5.38 am today.
Known popularly as "Mahashayji" and "Dadaji", Gulati's is a truly inspiring success story, in which he built his business from a small shop in Delhi to a super brand with a presence in more than 100 countries, set against the difficult days of the partition of the country in 1947.
Gulati was born on March 27, 1923 in Sialkot, then in undivided India but now in Pakistan. He dropped out of school in 1933 before completing the 5th class.
In 1937, he set up, with the help of his father, a small business of looking mirrors and later a soap business. He also dabbled in carpentry jobs, cloth, hardware and rice trading. None of these interested him for long and he again joined his father's business of spices under the name of Mahashian Di Hatti.
After the partition of the country, he and his family came to India and reached Delhi on September 27, 1947, with Rs 1500 in cash, after spending some time in a refugee camp in Amritsar, a month after the nation won independence from British rule.
He purchased a "tonga" and ferried passengers in it from New Delhi railway station to Qutab Road and from Karol Bagh to Bara Hindu Rao for some time.
Thereafter he bought small shop on Ajmal Khan Road in Karol Bagh and started his family business of ground spices, raising once again the banner of Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH). In 1959, Gulati purchased land in Kirti Nagar in Delhi and set up MDH's manufacturing unit.
Even as the business grew from strength to strength, making MDH a household name and a super brand, Gulati launched several philanthropic activities, including hospitals and schools in Delhi.
The MDH brand became synonymous with Gulati, thanks to his appearance in the company's television commercials. With his flowing white moustache and red turban, his face became an iconic image on Indian television.
Reports said Gulati was the highest paid CEO in the FMCG space in 2017, drawing a salary of more than Rs 20 crore. According to MDH, Gulati used to donate 90 per cent of his salary to charit
For his contribution to business and society, Gulati was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the nation's third highest civilian honour, in 2019.
(With inputs from IANS)