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The mascot for Indian masala is no more — some pics that take you on a trip through the icon’s journey

The mascot for Indian masala is no more — some pics that take you on a trip through the icon’s journey
  • The owner of the iconic spice brand MDH, ‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati passed away at the age of 98 after suffering from a cardiac arrest.
  • Dharampal Gulati was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India, last year.
  • From driving a ‘tonga’ to building a multi-crore spices empire in India, here’s a brief look at his success story.
‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati, the face of the iconic spice brand MDH (Mahashian Di Hatti) and the mascot for Indian masala, passed away at the age of 98 on Thursday after suffering from a cardiac arrest. The nonagenarian who was fondly known as ‘dadaji’ and ‘Mahashay Ji’ breathed his last at 5:30 am.

One of the most successful businessmen of India, he was born in 1923 in Sialkot, Pakistan. Gulati moved to India during the partition and opened his shop in Delhi’s Karol Bagh to set up their family ‘spices’ business once again. He went on to build it into a multi-crore global empire

Dharampal Gulati was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India, last year.

Here’s a brief look at his journey from a school dropout to building a multi-crore spices empire in India:

Gulati was born and raised in Sialkot, Pakistan in 1923. Due to fortuitous circumstances, Gulati had to drop out from school when he was in the fifth standard and join his father’s spice business, Mahashian Di Hat.

Gulati was born and raised in Sialkot, Pakistan in 1923. Due to fortuitous circumstances, Gulati had to drop out from school when he was in the fifth standard and join his father’s spice business, Mahashian Di Hat.
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During the partition, his family migrated to India and they stayed at a refugee camp in Amritsar for a while.

During the partition, his family migrated to India and they stayed at a refugee camp in Amritsar for a while.
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The early years were tough and gruelling. Gulati bought and drove a ‘tonga’ in New Delhi for a few years. Later, Gulati rented a small shop in Karol Bagh, Delhi and restarted his family ‘spice’ business — laying the building blocks of the multi-crore empire.

The early years were tough and gruelling. Gulati bought and drove a ‘tonga’ in New Delhi for a few years. Later, Gulati rented a small shop in Karol Bagh, Delhi and restarted his family ‘spice’ business — laying the building blocks of the multi-crore empire.
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The spice-maker gained local fame, and as the business took off, he rented another shop in Chandni Chowk in 1953 and then later decided to purchase land in Kirti Nagar in 1959 to build his own factory. MDH was established in 1959 and he built the brand into a global empire, spanning in various parts of the world, including the UK, Europe, UAE, Canada, etc.

The spice-maker gained local fame, and as the business took off, he rented another shop in Chandni Chowk in 1953 and then later decided to purchase land in Kirti Nagar in 1959 to build his own factory. MDH was established in 1959 and he built the brand into a global empire, spanning in various parts of the world, including the UK, Europe, UAE, Canada, etc.
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At the age of 98, Gulati was among the oldest CEOs around the world, and he held 80% of the stake in the business. Even at that age when most people seek retirement, he used to personally visit the factories to ensure the company matches the standards set by him.

At the age of 98, Gulati was among the oldest CEOs around the world, and he held 80% of the stake in the business. Even at that age when most people seek retirement, he used to personally visit the factories to ensure the company matches the standards set by him.
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He was awarded India’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan in 2019.

He was awarded India’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan in 2019.
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Gulati was also a well-known philanthropist. He operated a hospital with 250 beds in Delhi under the name of Mahashay Chuni Lal Charitable Trust. The charitable trust operates a mobile hospital that reaches out to slum dwellers. It also runs four schools and provides financial support to people in need.

Gulati was also a well-known philanthropist. He operated a hospital with 250 beds in Delhi under the name of Mahashay Chuni Lal Charitable Trust. The charitable trust operates a mobile hospital that reaches out to slum dwellers. It also runs four schools and provides financial support to people in need.
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