Updated: December 3, 2020 12:17:09 pm
Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, the owner of MDH, or Mahashian Di Hatti, passed away at the age of 97 on Thursday.
The MDH owner has featured in a number of the brand’s television and print commercials. The advertisement jingle and Gulati cameo appearances have made MDH one of the most recognisable brands in India.
Born on March 27, 1923, in Sialkot, now in Pakistan, Gulati dropped out of school in class five. In 1937, he set up a small business of mirrors, soaps and carpentry with his father’s help. The business further expanded with him selling cloth and hardware. He ever started trading in rice. In spite of the expansion, his business did not last and he joined his family business of making spices under the name of Mahashian Di Hatti, which was also known as ‘Deggi Mirch wale’.
Gulati arrived in India after the Partition and reached Delhi in September 1947, with Rs 1,500 in his pocket. According to his profile on the MDH website, Gulati briefly worked as a cart puller. With the money earned by doing meagre jobs, he established a small shop and named it after his family business, thus raising the banner of MDH of Sialkot.
Gulati is also known for his philanthropic work and established a hospital in Janakpuri, New Delhi and a number of educational institutions.
Gulati was reportedly the highest paid CEO in the FMCG sector in 2017. His company MDH had posted a 15% jump in revenues to Rs 924 crore with a 24% increase in net profit at Rs 213 crore, according to an ET report.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia expressed their condolences on Gulati’s demise. “Dharm Pal ji was very inspiring personality. He dedicated his life for the society. God bless his soul,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Dharm Pal ji was very inspiring personality. He dedicated his life for the society. God bless his soul. https://t.co/gORaAi3nD9
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 3, 2020
“India’s most inspiring entrepreneur, MDH owner Dharm Pal Mahashay passed away this morning. I have never met such an inspiring and lively soul. May his soul rest in peace,” said Sisodia.
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