From Taangewala to Masala Boss

 The success story of Mr Mahashay Dharampal Gulati

“The most precious award I have received is the love and respect of people.”

From kitchen  shelves to television  advertisements, the MDH brand is a household name in India.  The  catchy “Asli masale sach sach” jingle instantly brings to our mind, the image of a cheerful,  jolly old man sporting a white bushy moustache. That man is none other than Mr Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, founder of  Mahashian Di Hatti Pvt Ltd (MDH).. The man who has spiced up Indian cuisine for over half a century, with his wide range of traditional spice blends or masalas, is a young 93! 

 The journey from taangewala to Masala Boss has had several ups and downs, but in the end, it is the triumph of a man with grit and dedication. Presenting the inspirational senior,  Mr Mahashay Dharampal Gulati! 

A cross border struggle
In the  trying times of the Partition in 1947, a grim train from  Sialkot (Pakistan) brought to India  a man who would  one day create a successful brand in the world of spices – Mr Mahashay Dharampal Gulati. With no educational degree, money or professional experience, a helpless Mr Mahashay ran from pillar to post to make ends meet. In the initial days of his struggle in India, he worked as a taangewala  in the Qutub Road area of New Delhi. Serendipitously, one day,  he decided to sell his horse cart. From the proceedings of the sale, he established a business of masalas, armed with a confidence in himself and his knowledge of the spice business which his family ran, back in Sialkot.. From a dinghy shop in Ajmal Khan Road to shopping aisles in grocery stores around the world,  the popularity of  MDH  soon grew manifold.  And the rest, as they say, is history!

Fascinating fact file

  • Studies never caught Mr Mahashay’s fancy. He left school  after class V .
  •  Mr Mahashay worked in factories, shops and hardware stores. He also sold henna on carts and worked as a carpenter for a living.
  • A reputed philanthropist, Mr Mahashay  has set up many schools and charitable hospitals across the country.
  • Work is the elixir of his life that recycles his energies even at 93. A stickler for discipline, he exercises daily, maintains a normal work schedule like in his younger days and also, fulfils social obligations related to his schools and hospitals.
  • Amidst  all this, Mr Mahashay even performs  four ‘hawans’ every day. His enthusiasm for life remains constantly high!

A day in the life of Mahashay Dharampal Gulati

“Joh sowat hai so khowat hai, jo jagat hai so pawat hai”
(The early bird gets the worm)

Mr Mahashay  grew up  listening to this proverb. Imbibing the essence of it, he starts his day before the crack of dawn, at 4.50 a.m. A morning walk is followed by breakfast. He leaves for work soon after  and comes back in the evening. After a packed day of work, an evening walk and quality time with his family is his relaxation.

The secret  of his healthy long life

“Au Natural” is clearly the secret  of his good health. He eats only fruits and home cooked food. A  creature of  habit, he is completely dedicated to his routine. Not a single day  passes without his Pranayam (breathing exercise) and morning walk. 

The face of brand MDH

How often do we see company founders being the face of their product? Hardly. At the age of 67, when many people start to shy away from posing even for family photographs,  Mr Mahashay  chose to be the face of his brand. Strangely, this decision was a chanced upon idea. 

During the shoot of  a popular advertisement featuring a wedding, an impromptu decision was made to cast  Mr Mahashay  as the bride’s father.  Not only did the ad become popular, , but Mr Mahashay also stumbled upon a hobby. 

There was no stopping him after this. For over two decades,  he has been the face of MDH, so much so that  many people believe that he is a professional model!

Humanitarian behind the businessman

“The society’s well being concerns me, as much as my business.”

In a world where people mindlessly run after money, Mr Mahashay has  worked hard to earn for society andhas generously given back to society.  The two charitable hospitals and many schools in the country that he has established, are shining examples of his generosity.  He also actively participates in national and international welfare events. 

The virtues he lives by
“When I was 15 years old, I worked in a garment store. Every day, I would keep the money received from customers in a designated place. One  day, I  did the same in  the presence of the store owner. Not even an hour had lapsed when the owner accused me of stealing money! That someone could doubt my honesty left me in complete disbelief. I stopped working at the store then and there. This is because I have kept honesty at the highest pedestal in my life.”

 Mahashayspeak –  

  • Be righteous
  • Work hard
  • Speak respectfully
  • Have gratitude for God
  • Respect parents
  • Spread love

Truly, Mr Mahashay Dharampal Gulati’s is a success story, an inspiration for generations to come. And that, he feels, is enough reward for his efforts.

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