Growing Enterprises (SURGE)
Indian Institute of Management, CalcuttaOpen For Admission
The owner of the famous spice business ‘Mahashian Di Hatti’ or MDH, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati passed away on December 3, 2020.MahashayDharampal Gulati served as the CEO of the company till his very late years.
Popularly known as the ‘Spice King’, Dharampal was born in Sialkot (now in Pakistan) on March 27, 1923. His father, Mahashay Chunni Lal Gulati, owned a small spice shop called MDH- ‘Mahashian Di Hatti’ where he left studies at a very young age to help his father in business. During the partition of India, Gulati and his family were forced to migrate to India where they spent a considerable time in a refugee camp at Amritsar. After a while, the family decided to move to Delhi in search of work.
From the humble beginnings workingas a tongawalla to trying his luck in learning woodwork, working in a soap factory, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati was unknowingly building the base for a dynamic business empire. Based on all his learnings, he started his ancestral business of spices by opening a spice shop on Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh. Gulati was well aware of his business goals and wanted to sell the best quality spices in India. Throughout his life, he believed in three main principles namely sincerity, quality, and affordability prices. In 1953, he expanded his business by renting the second shop in Chandni Chowk. In 1959, he started a factory in Kirti Nagar under the name of ‘Mahashian Di Hatti’ (MDH).
In 2017 at the age of 94, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati became the highest-earning FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) CEO in India. Apart from this, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2019, the country's third-highest civilian award by President Ram Nath Kovind for his invaluable contributions in the field of Trade & Industry. Currently, ‘Mahashian Di Hatti' (MDH) exports spices to countries across Asia, US, and Europe with a legendary product range. This phenomenal business growth can be attributed to some of the finest management principles that connects strongly with the consumers and these are:
• Generating a personal connect with the unseen consumers at large- It is not only the brand but the person behind the brand that also matters. Mr Gulati with his quintessential Indian attire and warm smile was both the mascot and the ambassador of the brand. His affectionate demeanour charmed every ad commercial. So, every consumer could relate to this elderly person assuring consumers of the high quality of MDH products.
• Connecting the product with the daily challenges of the consumer- In the company’s annual reports published in 2018, it was published that the brand identified with the challenges of the homemakers when it came to preparing fresh spice blends on a daily basis. All that the brand aimed for was to make it easier for Indian homemakers to prepare delicious food on a daily basis with fresh ground spices from MDH stable.
• Giving back to society was another great principle followed both in spirit and action- Under MahashayDharampal Gulati leadership, MDH provided financial assistance to the construction of around 20 schools, that includes, MDH International School, MahashayChunnilalSaraswatiShishu Mandir (named after his father), Mata Lilawati Kanya Vidyalaya (named after his wife), and MahashayDharampal Vidya Mandir, etc.
Furthermore, the Mahashay Chuni Lal Charitable Trust powered by Mahashay Dharampal Gulati currently facilitates a 250-beds hospital along with a mobile hospital to provide medical care to slum dwellers.
Truly living a life of supreme value, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati garnered the affectionate image of ‘Dadaji’ and became a household name in India.
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