‘MDH uncle’ Mahashay Dharampal Gulati passes away at 97

The ‘King of Spices,’ as he was popularly known, had been undergoing treatment at a hospital for the past few days.
Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, founder of MDH spices
Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, founder of MDH spices
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'Mahashay' Dharampal Gulati, the owner of the famed MDH spices, passed away on Thursday at the age of 97. According to reports, the ‘King of Spices’ or ‘MDH Uncle’ as he was popularly known as, had been undergoing treatment at a hospital for the past few days and suffered a cardiac arrest at 5.30 am on Thursday. 

Born on March 27, 1923 in Sialkot (now in Pakistan), Gulati dropped out of school during Class 5 and joined his father’s spice business. He moved to India after the Partition and soon set up Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH) out of a rented store in Delhi’s Chandani Chowk. In 1959, he opened a store in Delhi’s Karol Bagh, and from there, he was instrumental in building MDH into one of India's leading spice brand. Today, MDH has a range of over 62 products, available in over 150 different packages, and is shipped to consumers all over the world. The company has over two dozen factories in India and supplies products to over 4 lakh dealers across the world. Gulati also became synonymous with the brand, his smiling face a regular in MDH television and print advertisements. 

Dharampal Gulati was involved in social work as well, as reports state that almost 90% of his salary went to charity. In 2019, Gulati was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award by President Ram Nath Kovind. He is survived by two children. 

Several Union Ministers, celebrities and political leaders expressed their condolences at the MDH owner’s death. 

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that he was saddened by Dharampal Gulati’s passing. “He started his small business and made a mark of himself. He was very active in social work and remained active till the very last moment,” Rajnath tweeted. 

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal expressed his sorrow over the MDH owner’s death, stating that he had “spread the fragrance of India’s spices to the whole world.”

“Dharm Pal ji was very inspiring personality. He dedicated his life for the society. God bless his soul,” tweeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “I have never met such an inspiring and lively soul. May his soul rest in peace.”

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