From losing everything in the partition to building India's biggest spices brand, MDH Owner Mahashay Dharampal Gulati's journey was indeed an inspiration for many.
Gulati passed away in Delhi on Thursday at the age of 98.
As the news of his death broke in, several could not believe the news. That is because similar reports of his death had gone viral in 2018.
In that race to be first on the page, sometimes the media accidentally speaks too soon in reporting the deaths of celebrities and public figures.
And sometimes it's not an accident, in which the media or the public is often duped due to ill-advised jokes, conspiracies or hoaxes, many of which went viral until people put the rumours to rest.
In one such incidence, two years ago, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati became a victim of a death hoax. In 2018, few reports had surfaced saying that, the owner of MDH masala, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati passed away at the age of 99 at a hospital in Delhi.
The reports were, however, strongly denied by the company’s vice-president. While talking to New18, MDH’s executive vice-president Rajendra Kumar had said, “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 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.”
‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati has been the face of Mahashian Di Hatti, popularly known by its abbreviated name MDH, for years, featuring on its packets and appearing in its advertisements.
According to MDH website, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati was born on March 27, 1923, in Sialkot in undivided India. Dharampal left school before completing 5th class. He set up a small business with his father 'Mahashay' Chunnilal in 1937 and later joined the parental business of spices under the name of 'Mahashian Di Hatti'. The family was popularly known as ‘Deggi Mirch Wale‘ people in Sialkot.
After partition, Gulati migrated to Delhi, purchased a Tonga and drove it from New Delhi Railway Station to Qutab Road and Karol Bagh to Bara Hindu Rao to earn his living. Later, he sold his tonga, bought a small shop and started his business of spices under the banner of 'Mahashian Di Hatti of Sialkot Deggi Mirch Wale‘ which later became a multi-billion rupee empire of MDH.
The company was officially set up in Delhi in 1959 after Gulati legally purchased land in Kirti Nagar and started the manufacturing unit.‘Mahashay’ Dharampal Gulati has named the FMCG sector's highest-paid CEO in 2017 with Rs 21 crore as an annual salary. Besides his Rs 1500-crore spices empire, the family also runs a charitable trust which has about 20 schools and a hospital.