From Tonga driver to Masala King, MDH Dadaji’s inspiring journey   

The founder of the iconic spice brand MDH, Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati breathed his last at Mata Chanan Devi Hospital in Delhi on November 3 after suffering a cardiac arrest

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NH Web Desk

‘Asli masale sach sach! MDH MDH... Every 90's kid has grown up watching MDH ads and clearly remembers it. The founder of the iconic spice brand MDH, Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati breathed his last at Mata Chanan Devi Hospital in Delhi on November 3 after suffering a cardiac arrest. He had been undergoing treatment at the hospital for the last three weeks

Popularly known as the ‘Masala King’, Dharampal Gulati Born in Sialkot, Pakistan, in 1923. According to several reports, Mahashayji dropped out of school in class five and joined his father in their small business. His father Chuni Lal sold spices at a shop called ‘Mahasian Di Hatti’ that opened back in 1919. Mahashayji, however, moved to India along with his family after Partition and they stayed as a refugee in Amritsar.


With only Rs 1,500 in his pocket, Mahashayji moved to Delhi with his brother-in-law. To earn his bread and butter, he bought a Tonga for Rs 650 which he ran from New Delhi railway station to Qutub Road.

The business was not doing so great, and hence he decided to open a small shop and restarted his own family business of selling spices. In 1953, Gulati rented a shop in Chandni Chowk, named it Mahashiyan Di Hatti (MDH), and started selling spices. The company was officially established in 1959 when Gulati bought land at Kirti Nagar and set up a manufacturing unit.

At present, MDH Spices, which reportedly manufactures nearly 50 different varieties of spices, has 15 factories across the country and sells its products across the globe. The reports further claimed that Mahashayji was the highest-paid entrepreneur at the age of 94 and took home more than Rs 21 crore as salary.

In 2019, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the country. He was considered the oldest ad star in the world.

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