'Babas and their brands no threat to MDH': MDH CEO Dharampal Gulati passes away at 98

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The owner of MDH Spices and its iconic face, Dharampal Gulati, passed away at the age of 98. According to reports, he was undergoing post-COVID treatment at a hospital in Delhi for the last three weeks. He suffered a cardiac arrest and breathed his last at 5:30 am December 3, 2020.
Gulati had spoken exclusively to Indiaretailing Bureau at India Food Forum 2017. FMCG’s oldest CEO had then talked about how his company – Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH) – has remained absolutely unruffled in the face of serious competition, ie the Indian baba.
The Indian FMCG space, so far ruled by urban Indian as well as multinational companies, has recently been witness to the entry of a whole new entrepreneur of sorts – the Indian baba. In recent times, FMCG companies run by Baba Ramdev (Patanjali Ayurved) and Sri Sri Ravishankar (Sri Sri Ayurveda) have set foot in the spices segment, posing a serious threat to existing players.
“The new players are not competitors in the sense that they have launched themselves in spaces of personal care, food, and health – so they are very widespread as far as their reach is concerned. There is no direct competition with us since they are far more aggressive in other categories as compared to spices,” Gulati had told Indiaretailing.com.
“The quality of our products is much higher as compared to the new entrants as these companies are dependent on machines to grind spices, while we still use the age-old technique of mortar and pestle,” he had then stated.
He went on to add that Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH) firmly believes that quality will eventually decide consumer choice and not pricing alone. He had also stated that his company has no plans to explore other products in the FMCG sector in the near future.
“Spices are our core product and in the near future we will be only concentrating on this category. I feel there is a lot of scope to widen the Indian spices market and for converting consumers from unbranded products,” he had explained.
MDH has about two dozen factories in India, offices in Dubai and London and exports to about 100 countries. And Dharampal Gulati, who has 80 per cent share in MDH, attributes the success of his company to sheer hard work.
Till his last years, Gulati contributed to each and every aspect of the business i.e. from sourcing raw materials to supplying the final product.
In fact under him, in the year 2016-17, MDH posted a 15 per cent jump in revenues to Rs 924 crore with a 24 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 213 crore.
With Inputs from Charu Lamba

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