Padma Bhushan Awardee Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, our beloved MDH uncle, a household name is no more. He left for heavenly abode at the age of 98 after battling with health issues. He was the pioneer of advertising in the unorganised retail sector and created a brand recognised by everyone, even young kids. Who doesn’t remember the iconic “asli masale sach sach” campaign? Let’s take a look at his secrets of success and how he built an empire worth over 2000 crore a year.
He faced one of the most significant setbacks during the partition era. He had to leave his well-established business of trading in Sialkot, Pakistan and moved to Delhi, India. At age 24, he had to rebuild everything from scratch. He started out as a tangewala (A horse-cart puller) which he purchased for 650 rupees.
MDH uncle set up a small retail shop in Karol bagh Delhi in the mid-’90s and named it Mahashiyan Di Hatti (MDH). He started trading spices, and In 5 years, he had a dealer network of over 1000 dealers across India. In 10, MDH owned 15 factories. He was an avid philanthropist and ran around 20 schools as well as community hospitals.
He drew the highest salary of over 21 Cr. Higher than any FMCG CEO in the country. 90% of his income in personal capacity was dedicated to philanthropic activities. He taught the world that if you do someone with complete dedication, you can achieve whatever you wish for.
What Do You Think Was The Secret Behind MDH Chacha Ji’s Success?
He saw the potential marketing and advertising held and didn’t stop experimenting even when his business was thriving. He started marketing the brand with the help of print ads in the initial days and then moved to TV ads (which we all know and love). His community was against the idea of spending money on advertising. Yet, he went ahead and created immortal advertising campaigns which proved the naysayers wrong.
MDH Chacha Ji followed his instinct even when everyone was against the idea of advertising. He has built a brand loved by Indians and people abroad. It just goes to show that one must never stop learning.