Who was ‘King of Spices’ Dharampal Gulati, a familiar face in turban and moustache


MDH Spices owner Dharampal Gulati, a familiar face thanks to the masala advertisement made popular by the 98-year-old, passed away on Thursday. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Dharampal Gulati was a school dropout who went on to become the highest-paid CEO in the FMCG sector.

Dharampal Gulati dressed in a vibrant red turban and white moustache became an iconic image on Indian television.

MDH Spices owner Dharampal Gulati, a familiar face thanks to the masala advertisement made popular by the 98-year-old, passed away on Thursday. The Padma Bhushan awardee was a school dropout who went on to become the highest-paid CEO in the FMCG sector that he mastered in his long-spanning career.

Dharampal Gulati, recognised as the ‘MDH Dadaji’ dressed in a vibrant red turban and white moustache, became an iconic image on Indian television after he started appearing on the masala commercials for his own brand.

According to a report in The Economic Times, Dharampal Gulati became the highest-paid CEO in the FMCG sector in 2017 drawing a salary of Rs 21 crore. He was drawing more than the likes of Adi Godrej and YC Deveshwar of ITC at the time. He was 94 years old then.

The ‘King of Spices’, Dharampal Gulati, was born in Sialkot of Pakistan in 1923. He dropped out of school after Class 5 to help his father with the masala business in Delhi. His father Chunni Lal Gulati was the founder of the MDH Spices business which Dharampal Gulati went on to turn into a multi-crore empire.

Starting with a small shop in Karol Bagh and another in Chandni Chowk, MDH went on to export its products across 100 countries and open offices in Dubai and other places out of India.

Dharampal Gulati took MDH to new heights with its masala packets selling in crores and becoming a household necessity. MDH now has a capacity of producing 30 tonnes of spices in a day.

Dharampal Gulati, probably the oldest CEO in the world, used to give up 90% of his salary for charity. A trust run by MDH runs several hospitals and schools in Delhi.



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