MDH, or Mahashian Di Hatti, is owned by Mahashay Dharampal Gulati. The 99-year-old 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 pockets. 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.