After being hospitalised in Delhi for a while Dharampal Gulati, aged 97, has passed away. He breathed his last on Thursday morning after going into cardiac arrest.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind has expressed condolences on Gulati's demise.
पद्म भूषण से सम्मानित, 'महाशयां दी हट्टी' (एमडीएच) के अध्यक्ष श्री धर्मपाल गुलाटी जी के निधन से दुःख हुआ। वे भारतीय उद्योग जगत के एक प्रसिद्ध व्यक्तित्व थे। समाज सेवा के लिए किये गए उनके कार्य भी सराहनीय हैं। उनके परिवार व प्रशंसकों के प्रति मेरी शोक-संवेदनाएं। pic.twitter.com/9Z2e5Rgl82— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) December 3, 2020
As big names from the world of Indian politics, including Delhi State Chief Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia took to Twitter to pen heartfelt tributes to the "spice king", others simply joined the chorus in extending condolences.
Dharm Pal ji was very inspiring personality. He dedicated his life for the society. God bless his soul. https://t.co/gORaAi3nD9— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 3, 2020
Shri Mahashay Dharmapal Gulati, owner of MDH Masala is no more. Here he was dancing at an event celebrating 100 years of MDH Masalas when he was 96 years old. Om Shanti🙏🏽pic.twitter.com/kgaCaWgDEf
— Nandita Iyer (@saffrontrail) December 3, 2020
Indian kids, especially from the 90s grew up singing catchy MDH jingles alongside the advertisements flashing on television screens featuring the legendary "MDH wale dadaji (grandpa)" – as Gulati will forever be referred to,.
MDH, short for "Mahashian Di Hatti", was founded over a hundred years ago in 1919 by Mahashay Chunni Lal Gulati – Dharampal's father in undivided India's Sialkot district (now in Pakistan's Punjab Province).
With his modern understanding of television and radio marketing, Dharampal catapulted his father's company to the zenith of success during the 1990s. In 2019, Gulati was also awarded the Padma Bhushan - India's third-highest civilian award.
Every packet of MDH spices has a little picture of the bespectacled Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, giving his signature ear-to-ear smile, wearing pearl necklaces, a turban, and a white sherwani – which is one of India's traditional costumes for men. That picture has become synonymous with the brand's image over the years.
With over 60 different combinations of spices, including Meat Masala, Kasoori Methi, Garam Masala, Rajma Masala, Shahi Paneer Masala, Dal Makhani Masala, and Sabzi Masala, in 2017, MDH clocked a revenue of over $1.25 billion. The company has a global network of over 800,000 retailers and wholesalers.