Renowned owner of MDH spices company, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati passed away in the early hours of Thursday. MDH became a household name after the owner featured in multiple television advertisements and promoted his product.
The 97-year-old had recently contracted coronavirus and recovered from it. However, he succumbed to a heart attack earlier today. Mahashay was undergoing medical treatment at a hospital in New Delhi where he suffered a cardiac arrest on December 3 morning.
Mahashay, also known as the "masala king" of India, had created his own place with his brand of spices not only in the country, but across the world. Mahashay was born on March, 27, 1923 in Sialkot, which is now in Pakistan. He migrated to India with his parents at the time of partition as the two countries gained Independence in 1947. Before moving to Delhi, Mahashay and his family spent their initial years in a refugee camp in Amritsar.
The MDH company also has its roots in Pakistan, where Mahashay's father had a small spice shop named "Mahashian Di Hatti" in 1919, which later became one of the largest spice manufacturers in India, valued at over Rs 15,000 crore.
Mahashay had dropped out of school when he was in class five and in 1937, he set up a small business of mirrors, soaps and carpentry with his father's help. The business was further expanded and he even started selling cloth and hardware and trading rice. However, as fate would have it, Mahashay's business did not last and he joined his family business of making spices, which was also famously known as 'Deggi Mirch wale'.
Mahashay went on to become India’s highest-paid consumer product CEO in 2017. He was actively involved in the functioning of the company, even in his old-age, and took daily rounds to the factories, markets, and the company. He held 80 per cent stake in the company.
Mahashay was honoured with the third-highest civilian honour of the country, the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government in 2019.