'Mahashay' Dharampal Gulati, the owner of spice company MDH (Mahashian Di Hatti), passed away on Thursday, December 3, morning after suffering from cardiac arrest. He was 97. Gulati was reportedly undergoing treatment at a Delhi hospital for the last three weeks.
He was born in 1923 in Sialkot, Pakistan. In 1933, Gulati left school before he could have completed 5th class. He later joined his father, Mahashay Chunnilal's business of spices under the name of Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH), popularly known as 'Deggi Mirch Wale'.
After the partition, Gulati came to India and reached Delhi on September 27, 1947. At the time, he only had Rs 1500 with him. Out of that amount, he purchased a tonga for Rs 650 and drove it from New Delhi Railway Station to Qutab Road and Karol Bagh to Bara Hindu Rao at two Annas a passenger 'sawari' for a few days.
Thereafter he bought a small wooden khokha (Shop/ Hatti) measuring 14ft. x 9 ft. at Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh, and started his family business of ground spices and again raised the banner of Mahashian Di Hatti of Sialkot 'Deggi Mirch Wale'.
In 1953, he rented a second shop in Chandni Chowk. In 1959, Gulati purchased land in Kirti Nagar, New Delhi to set up a manufacturing unit of Mahashian Di Hatti.
Gulati used to take a round of factories, markets, and dealers, including on Sundays to check if everything was in order.
Gulati became highest-paid FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) CEO in India in 2017, drawing a salary of Rs 21 crore. Gulati used to donate nearly 90 per cent of his salary to charity under the banner of the Mahashay Chunni Lal Charitable Trust.
Fondly called 'dadaji' and 'Mahashayji ', Gulati received the Padma Bhushan award from President Ram Nath Kovind in 2019.