Success story of Mahashay Dharampal Gulati (MDH) who once drove a ‘Tanga’

Mahashay Dharampal Gulati
Mahashay Dharampal Gulati

Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, famously known as ‘Mahashay’, “MDH Uncle”, ‘Masala King’, ‘Dadaji’, or ‘King of Spices’ is an Indian businessperson.

He is the owner and CEO of MDH masala. MDH (Mahshian Di Hatti Private Limited) is an Indian spice company.

He spent first 25 years of his life in Pakistan. His spice business has spread all over the world.

In 2019, the President of India Ram Nath Kovind honoured him with India’s third highest civilian award.

Who is Mahashay Dharampal Gulati

Gulati was born on 27th march 1923 in Sialkot-at present Pakistan. Mahashay Chunni Lal Gulati was his father & his mother was Mata Chanan Devi.

He spent 25 years of his life in Pakistan. He attended his school in Pakistan but he was not interested in study so, dropped out his school in 5th standard. In Pakistan, his father ran a spice shop on the name of Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH).  

Humble beginnings of MDH Masala

His father Mahashay Chunni Lal Gulati was the founder of MDH. After leaving school, Gulati assist his father at spice shop.

He used to sale Mahendi initially and earned 20rs/day that time. In 1947, during partition his family decide to migrate to India.

The family spent some time in Amritsar’s refugee camp. Then they shifted to Delhi.

Initially he started to live at his niece’s house in Karol Bagh. The house had no electricity, water supply or toilet facility.

Mahashay Dharampal Gulati | Image Source: MDH Masala

In 1941, he got married to Lilawati at the age of 18. The couple had one son Sanjeev Gulati & six daughters.

Lilawati died in 1992 & just 2-months later, his son died. At present, he is living with his grandson & his family.

Entrepreneurial Journey

After leaving school in Pakistan, he learned many handicrafts such as carpentry, painting, embroidery etc. but did not succeed.

Later ghon, his father got him into his spice shop. At the time of migration, he had 1500 Rs in his pocket.

From that money, he bought Tanga (a horse-drawn carriage) worth Rs 650. He used to take passengers from Connaught Place to Karol Bagh.

Later he sold it, as it was not his cup of tea. In 1948, he opened a small shop in Karol Bagh to restart his spice business.

He rented a second a second shop in Chandni Chowk in 1953. He purchased land in Kirti Nagar, New Delhi to set up the manufacturing unit of Mahashin Di Hatti in 1959 with the slogan “DEGGI MIRCH WALE”.

King of spices

His spice market has spread in more than 100 countries across the world.

He was the highest paid fast-moving consumer goods CEO in India in 2017. As salary last fiscal, he took home over Rs 21 crore.

Mahashay Dharampal Gulatithe philanthropist

In 2019, he was honoured with Padma Bhushan. Under the banner of Mahashay Chunni Lal Charitable Trust, he donates nearly 90%.

This trust operates a 250-bed hospital in Delhi, along with four schools & a mobile hospital for slum dwellers.

He was named “Indian of the Year” at ABCI annual awards in 2016. He received “Excellence Award” for lifetime achievement in 2017.  

MDH with Ram Nath Kovind
Mahashay Dharampal Gulati with Ram Nath Kovind

Mahashay Dharampal Gulati has made the world believe in the power of India. The determination and the hard work that Gulati has shown are exceptional and highly inspiring. He has defied failure and achieved success against all odds.

Mahashay Dharampal Gulati started a very small business and made it successful when people were speculating the possibilities of attending schools. At the age of 96, today he is no less than any young entrepreneur. 

He has helped India climb ladders of success and fame at the global level. The enormous amount hard work and efforts it would have taken is only imaginable. 

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The vision and the passion he carries will continue inspiring Indian young entrepreneurs.