MDH owner Mahashay Dharampal Gulati dies at 97: Lesser-known facts about the ‘Spice King’

Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

December 3, 2020 1:20:36 pm

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MDH spices owner Dharampal Gulati was born in Sialkot. (Source:

Popularly known as the “Spice King”, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati died Thursday morning due to sudden cardiac arrest in New Delhi. Born in Sialkot (now in Pakistan) on March 27, 1923, he moved to India after the Partition and set up his business in Delhi. The spice company, ‘Mahashian Di Hatti’ (MDH) was initially found by his late father Mahashay Chunni Lal Gulati.

Here are some interesting facts about one of India’s most inspiring entrepreneurs and his rags-to-riches journey.

*He dabbled in many odd jobs including learning woodwork for eight months, working in a soap factory, fabric factory and rice factory — but none of them ever fascinated him.
*In 1933, he left school before he could complete class 5.
*It was his father who had a spice shop in Sialkot called MDH – ‘Mahashian Di Hatti’. This shop, however, became popular as ‘Deggi Mirch Wale’. During Partition, the family had to leave behind all their belongings and migrate to the other side of the border and finally settled in Delhi.
*After working as a tongawala, he decided to open his ancestral business of spices in Delhi. This decision came when he sold off his carriage on October 10, 1948. He opened a small shop in Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh, and gradually expanded his business.

*Gulati became the highest-paid FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) CEO in India in 2017.
*He was always physically active and is believed to wake up at around 4:30 am every day to exercise.
*He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian award, in 2019.
*Most recently, he supported the fight against the novel coronavirus by donating PPE kits and an undisclosed amount to the Delhi CM Relief Fund.

On April 28, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took to Twitter to share the news that he had donated 7,500 PPE kits for healthcare workers in Delhi.

*He believed in three principles – sincere work, quality products, and affordable prices.

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