From a school dropout to a billionaire: Inspiring story of MDH Masala owner Dharampal Gulati


NEW DELHI: MDH Masala owner Mahashay Dharampal Gulati passed away on Thursday morning. He was 98. Mahashay Dharampal Gulati was undergoing treatment at the Mata Chanan Devi Hospital in Delhi and suffered a cardiac arrest this morning. From a school dropout to a self-made billionaire, the journey of the MDH Masala owner was truly inspiring.

Even in his late nineties, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, was actively involved in the functioning of MDH Masala. 

The MDH owner was awarded India’s third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan last year. 


Here are some interesting details of life and works of Mahashay Dharampal Gulati who is popularly known as Masala King or Spice King.

  • Spice king Dharampal Gulati was born in Sialkot (now in Pakistan) on March 27, 1923. His family moved to India after Partition during the Independence.
  • MDH or Mahashian Di Hatti was founded by Dharampal Gulati’s father Mahashay Chunni Lal Gulati.
  • From a small outlet in Pakistan’s Sialkot in 1919, MDH Masala became one of the largest spice makers in India with a turnover of over ₹ 15,000 crore.
  • A school dropout, the MDH owner, was a self-made billionaire and once India’s highest-paid CEO.
  • MDH Masala now exports spices to about 100 countries in the world and has offices in London and Dubai. 
  • Stories about the life of the MDH owner and masala baron say he was even forced to drive the tonga in Delhi in his early days.
  • “My motivation to work is being sincere in product quality sold at affordable prices. And nearly 90% of my salary goes to charity in my personal capacity,” Dharampal Gulati had said to the business daily Economic Times in 2017.
  • Gulati became the highest-paid FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) CEO in India in 2017.
  • He was always physically active and is believed to wake up at around 4.30 AM everyday to exercise.
  • He supported the fight against COVID-19 by donating PPE kits and an undisclosed amount to the Delhi CM relief fund.