MDH Spices on Sunday robustly denied media reports of the ‘death’ of its recognisable owner ‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati.
Speaking to media, the company’s executive vice-president Rajendra Kumar said the reports were baseless. “This is completely shocking, baseless and false. The rumour started on social media yesterday. I appeal to the people not to fall prey to such rumours,” he said
Media reports had earlier in the day erroneously proclaimed the death of the MDH owner, fondly known as ‘Mahashay’. Asked about the reaction of the nonagenarian to the rumours, Kumar said, “He says he feels young again as so many people called up to inquire and expressed their love for him after knowing that he’s alive and well.”
Mahashian Di Hatti, better known as MDH, is a popular brand of spices in India and over the years ‘Mahashay’ has become the iconic face of the company, featuring in its advertisements. He was born in 1919 in Pakistan’s Sialkot where the roots of the multi-million dollar empire lay.
The company began as a small shop in the city, which was set up by his father before partition. However, after 1947, the family moved to the national capital.
According to popular stories, the MDH owner rented a tonga after arriving in Delhi and started ferrying travellers from Connaught Place to Karol Bagh. Forced into poverty, there were time Dharampal had no passengers. Some reportedly even hurled abuses at him.
Tired of misery, he sold his tonga, rented a shop in Chandni Chowk in 1953, named it Mahashiyan Di Hatti (MDH) and started doing what he knew best — selling spices.
According to a report, the company was officially set up in the national capital in 1959 after Gulati legally purchased land in Kirti Nagar and started the manufacturing unit. Later, he opened the same at Ajmal Khan Road in Karol Bagh area. Today, the company sells its spices across the globe, making Gulati the highest paid FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) CEO in India in 2017.
It is one of the biggest brands of spices, and manufactures almost 50 different types of spices. Despite his age, it is said that Gulati takes all major business decision
The MDH owner also reportedly runs Mahashay Chuni Lal Charitable Trust, which facilitates a hospital with 250 beds. Additionally, it runs a mobile hospital which reaches out to slum dwellers. Four schools are also being run by this trust, and it provides financial support to people in need.