Dharampal Gulati – The story of self-made Billionaire

If you have seen the MDH Masala advertisement on Television, then you just cannot miss Dharampal Gulati, known famously as the king of Spices. MahashayDharampal Gulati has over the years have been part of a revolution. The 94-year-old has achieved tremendous name and fame across the country, and it is after facing many hardships and struggles that he has reached where he is today.

MDH masala has done significant good to the reputation of India across the world which is highly commendable. MDH is one brand that is loved by people from across the world and this certainly has made India quite popular all over the world. 

MahashayDharampal Gulati and his Early Days

MahashayDharampal was born and brought in the city of Sialkot, Pakistan. His father, ChuniLal used to trade spices from a small shop called Mahashian Di Hatti. Later, in 1933, Dharampal quit his school when he was in 5th class and he decided to help his father run the shop.

In the year 1937, he, along with the assistance of his father founded a small business of looking mirrors. Following this, he tried his luck in carpentry job, as a cloth merchant, ride trading as well as hardware business. All these business did not excite him much longer and he again joined his father in his parental business, i.e. trading of spices under the name of Mahashian Di Hatti.

Partition and his initial days of struggle

During the time of partition, Dharampal along with family migrated to India from Pakistan. He stayed at a refugee camp in the city of Amritsar for a brief time. After a while, Dharampal along with his brother in law travelled to Delhi to find work.

Now in Delhi, Dharampal purchased a horse-drawn carriage from the money that his father had given to him. From the 1500 Rs that he had borrowed from his father, he invested 650 of them in buying the horse-drawn carriage to commute people from Connaught Place to Karol Bagh.

As Dharampal could only manage meagre returns from the venture, he simply sold the carriage and used the amount to buy a small shop in Ajmal Khan road. At this time, he restarted the spices business of his family and began selling the spices.

After some time, the business took off, and then Dharampal took on rent another shop in the area of Chandni Chowk in the year 1953. Following 6 years, he made up his mind to buy a plot in the area of Kirti Nagar so that he can set-up his own factory. It was after that, Mahashian Di Hatti Limited (MDH) came into existence and since then he never looked back.

Struggle faced by Dharampal Gulati

Often people tend to forget the struggles when taking about the success. But, the struggles that DharampalJi faced all through the initial years is something that the world should know. Dharampal Gulati and his family were severely affected by the partition. He had to leave his ancestral land along and everything in Pakistan to come to India.

When he arrived in India, he had 1500 Rs and he had the desire to do something extraordinary to change the course of life. Today people are of the opinion that MDH succeeded due to the fact that there was no competition at that time. But in reality, starting a business from the very scratch and taking it forward to new heights requires a futuristic approach, determination, passion and above all perseverance.

The Success Formula of MDH

The formula of success of the MDH has always been a hot topic of discussion among people. Be that as it may, a secret formula is not the individual element that translates into the success of a business. The formula that has helped MDH achieve unmatched success during all these years is the passion, unmatched determination and work ethics of Dharampal Gulati and also the people who have been associated with the business in whatever capacity. Also, the fact that MDH focusses on delivery best satisfaction to its customers has also enabled it to successfully enhance the rate of its growth and expand its business across India and other foreign countries.

Success Growth of MDH

Today, the spices and blends manufactured by MDH and sold under it brand name are not just popular in India but across the whole world. The MDH spices are being exported to the countries such as Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, USA, Japan and in countries of South-East Asia. MDH has its offices located in various parts of the world such as Dubai and London and it exports spices and blends to more than 100 small or large countries in the world. The overall operations are managed by Dharampal Gulati’s son while his daughters are responsible for handling the region-wise distribution of the MDH products. 

The company largely owes its success to its supply chain that is done through contract farming. MDH sources spices from states such as Rajasthan, Karnataka and from countries such as Iran and Afghanistan. However, the segment has been attracting other options as well. To facilitate expansion of their business, MDH has established highly sophisticated and fully automatic manufacturing plants in Delhi. It has also 3 such plants of spices and papad in Gurgaon, 2 plants of Methi and spices and Sojat and Nagaur (Rajasthan). Additionally, branches of such establishments have been set-up in Ludhiana, Amritsar and Ghaziabad.

Dharampal Gulati – CEO with the Highest Salary in FMCG Sector

The fifth-gradedropout from the school, Dharampal Gulatitook home a whopping Rs 21 crore as salary in the last fiscal year. This amount is higher when compared to Sanjiv Mehta of Hindustan Unilever NSE and Adi Godrej and Vivek Gambhir of Godrej Consumer as well as from ITC’s YC Deveshwar. Also, his company Mahashian Di Hatti, which is popular as MDH, posted a revenue of Rs 924 crore which highlights a 15% jump from previous fiscal and 24% expansion in net profit which amounts to Rs 213 crore.

In present time at the age of 94, Gulati holds 80% stake in the company and is highly active in day to day running of the business of the MDH. He makes sure that he is fully satisfied with everything and therefore he takes round of factories on regular basis and explore markets and connect with dealers on Sundays.

From humble beginnings to Multi-Million Empire

From a small shop in Sialkot, Pakistan, which his father had started way back in 1919 to an empire of Rs 1500,Dharampal’s journey has been extremely inspiring. Similar to his parents who were active with philanthropic work, Dharampal also runs and managed MahashayChuniLal Charitable Trust. The trust runs a hospital with 250 beds along with a mobile hospital which provides free treatment to slum dwellers by reaching out to them in times of distress.

Following the partition of India, Dharampal moved toDelhi and ever since he has not looked back. Since then, he has opened a great many factories of spices and have supplied products to thousands of dealers and millions of people. With his vision, honesty, hard work and perseverance, Mahashayji led enabled MDH to reach new heights, which have been story of inspiration for people of different generations.