The owner of the MDH Masala brand, Dharampal Gulati breathed his last on Thursday at a hospital in Delhi. The grand old man of spices, who had been undergoing treatment for the last three weeks, died of a cardiac arrest in the early hours. He was 97.
Gulati became an iconic image on the television after he appeared on the masala commercial for his own brand. Dressed in his trademark red turban with white moustache, he was fondly known as Mahashay and Dadaji.
Born in 1923 in Sialkot, Pakistan, the king of spice was a school dropout when he joined his father Chunni Lal Gulati in spice business. Starting with a small store in Delhi’s Karol Bagh. Gulati went on to turn into a multi-crore empire. And officially established the company in 1959. He then started exporting its India spices across 100 countries and opened offices in Dubai.
In 2017, Gulati became the highest paid CEO in the FMCG sector at the age of 94. He drew more salary than Adi Godrej and YC Deveshwar of ITC at that time. He was a known philanthropist, and built several schools and hospitals in his long span of career.
Gulati was honoured with the third highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan in 2019.
Deeply saddened by the news of his demise, several political leaders took to Twitter to express their condolences. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote that Dharmpal ji was a very inspiring personality, who dedicated his life for the society.
India’s most inspiring entrepreneur, MDH owner Dharm Pal Mahashay passed away this morning, wrote Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia adding that he never met such an inspiring and lively soul.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh saddened by demise of one of India’s most respected businessmen said that he started his small business and made a mark for himself. He was very active in social work and remained active till the last moment.
Dharampal Gulati used to give up 90% of his salary for charity, according to reports.