The owner of Mahashian Di Hatti (popularly known as MDH), ‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati, passed away today at the age of 97.
He had been receiving treatment at Chanan Devi Hospital for the past few weeks, according to sources, and suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday morning.
For the year 2017, Gulati was India’s highest-paid CEO of consumer goods. He had taken home over Rs 21 crore that year as a paycheck, outearning celebrity honchos like Godrej Consumer’s Adi Godrej and Vivek Gambhir, Hindustan Unilever’s Sanjiv Mehta and ITC’s YC Deveshwar.
My motivation to work is to be genuine in the quality of goods sold at affordable prices. And in my personal capacity, almost 90% of my salary goes to charity, “My motivation to work is being sincere in product quality sold at affordable prices. And nearly 90 percent of my salary goes to a charity in my personal capacity,”
A fifth-grade dropout from school was Gulati, who was also named Dadaji. He was known for making daily rounds of factories, markets and distributors faithfully, even on Sundays, until he was sure that all was in order.
The business was started back in 1919 by the late father of Gulati, Chuni Lal, as a small shop in Sialkot, Pakistan. Gulati moved to a shop in Karol Bagh in Delhi after the partition of the country and opened 15 factories supplying 1000 dealers in India. The masala company, several schools and a hospital are now managed by a vast Rs 1500 crore business empire.
In Sialkot, Pakistan, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati was born. During partition, his family migrated to India and spent some time in refugee camps in Amritsar before settling in Delhi.
Gulati moved to Karol Bagh in Delhi after partition. Gulati acquired a tonga, a horse-drawn carriage, for Rs 650, with around Rs 1500 earned from his father. He soon realised that the meagre income could not sustain the family, and he set up an Ajmal Khan Road spice grinding store. There was no going back from then on. Gulati leased another store in Chandni Chowk in 1953 and purchased a plot in Kirti Nagar in 1959 to set up their first factory.
MDH has a range of offices abroad, including those in Dubai and London. The organisation exports its goods to over 100 nations. Gulati’s son now oversees the overall operations and six daughters wisely oversee the area of distribution.
MDH has more than 60 products and three versions – Deggi Mirch, Chat Masala and Chana Masala – earn the bulk of its sales. Reportedly, each of these items sells over one crore packets per month.
Dharampal Ji was an inspirational figure and his story will keep inspiring generations to come. His death is the loss of an iconic figure of Indian business history and noble man.