Tribute to the Philanthropist and Grand Old Man of Spice ‘Dharampal Gulati’

‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati, the owner of Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH), passed away at the age of 98 years on 3rd December 2020, leaving the Nation in grief. Dharampal Gulati, who is also popularly known as, “Grand old man of Spice” was undergoing treatment at Chanan Devi Hospital at Delhi, for past three weeks.

The speciality of Mahashay Gulati is he himself was the promotor of his brand and thus over years become the face of the MDH product, attired in his famous red turban and pearl necklace. Netizen, recalled him through posts on social media platforms for his ever smiling face at the close of the advertisement with the popular tagline- “Asli Masale Sach Sach, MDH—MDH”.

Dharampal Gulati was born on 27 March 1923 in Sialkot at Pakistan. His father was Mahashay Chunni Lal Gulati, the founder of MDH or Mahashian Di Hatti in the year 1919. During partition the family migrated to India. Gulati though was a fifth grade school dropout, but started with his family business of spices in Karol Bagh, Delhi and opened 15 factories supplying 1000 dealers in India.

MDH now has a sprawling Rs 1500 crore business empire which runs the masala company, a number of schools and a hospital.He was known for diligently making daily rounds of factories, markets and dealers including on Sundays until he was satisfied everything was in order. 

MDH has more than 60 products and gets a majority of its sales from three variants – Deggi Mirch, Chat Masala and Chana Masala. Each of these products reportedly sells over a crore packets every month. MDH exports products to more than 100 countries including, Switzerland, USA, Japan, Canada and many more.

Gulati was also a philanthropist as his works towards charity were extraordinary. He built several hospitals and schools, donating 90% of his salary to charity under the banner of the “Mahashay Chunni Lal Charitable Trust”. The Trust operates a 250-beds hospital in Delhi, along with a mobile hospital for slum dwellers and four schools. Need-based financial help is also provided for social organization from the trust. MDH even runs a magazine named-“ Sandesh” which showcases the traditional family values in India.

On April 28, of this year, Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, has expressed gratitude to Mr. Dharampal Gulati, owner and chairman of the renowned spice company Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH) for donating 7,500 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits.

He was conferred with India’s third Highest Civilian Award, Padma Bhushan in the year 2019. Dharampal Gulati was an inspiring soul and a real gem of India. His demise leaves a heartache, that no one can heal yet leaves innumerable memories that no one can steal.