What does it take for a boy who hails from a remote village that has only one primary school and no roads or electricity to become a successful entrepreneur? The same drive, determination and passion. According to a report from Rediff.com, P.C. Mustafa, CEO at iD Fresh Food says, “If you have the passion to start something, do it immediately. Don’t wait for tomorrow.”
Mustafa was born to a coolie in the Wayanad district of Kerala who worked painstakingly in the coffee plantations to bring home two meals a day. Mustafa was never interested in studies as a kid and would prefer helping his father in the fields after school hours and on weekends. When he failed to clear his class 6 exams, he lost interest in studies and decided to join his father as a daily wage worker.
While there was no objection to his quitting school from the family members, his maths teacher didn’t like it one bit. Mathew Sir asked him a question: ‘Do you want to be a coolie or a teacher?’ Mustafa who had seen his father struggle to make ends meet was stunned by the gravity of the question and immediately replied that he wanted to be a teacher. His father decided to give him one more chance and soon Mustafa came first in class 7 and topped the class 10 exams too.
In spite of the financial constraints, his family supported him and Mustafa graduated as an Engineer. He went on to work in Ireland and Dubai before he finally decided to return to India. His reason to quit was simple – he wanted to spend time with his parents, pursue an MBA degree and he wanted to give back something to the society. He had no idea of what he was going to do in the future until one day his cousin told him about how Dosa batter was being made and sold in plastic bags in the nearby stores. It seemed like a good idea and Mustafa decided to start a company immediately by investing Rs. 25,000.
Mustafa, along with four of his cousins – Nasser, Shamsuddin, Jaffer, Naushad found a small place of around 550 square feet and started with two grinders, a mixer, and a sealing machine. The cousins decided to name the venture iD Fresh as they planned to supply fresh idli and dosa batter. They targeted 20 shops and 100 packets every day, and if the venture was successful, more money would be invested. By the ninth month, they had reached their goal of selling 100 packets a day!
Today, iD Fresh has become a national brand with a firm footing in cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mangaluru, Mumbai, Pune, and Hyderabad. The company has grown from producing 10 packets a day in 2005, with just cousins managing the kitchen, to 50,000 packets a day with over 1,000 employees in 10 years. The total investment is around Rs 4 crore and the revenue is around Rs 100 crore. Young people in the city today are indebted to Mustafa as they just need to rush to the nearest store and get the readymade batter for a quick and healthy breakfast.