Every individual on this earth, whether rich or poor, strong or weak, has to go through various ups and downs in his/her life. Everyone has to face various challenges in their lives. Some succumb to the atrocities in life and those who take up the challenges positively are the ones who become an inspiration for others. We all have certain capabilities in us and the only need is to realise them and work upon them.
There are many inspirational tales depicting the courage and strength of many individuals who have converted their disabilities into strengths and have created motivational and inspirational vision for others in life. ‘Winners Who Cared for Nothing but…GOALS’ is a series of articles where we share with you rags to riches stories of people who never stopped trying. This is the eighth article of the series and here we will share the story of a hero, who has achieved laurels in life against all the odds. He is none other than MUSTAFA PC, the man who founded south India’s most prominent ready-to-cook packaged food company, ID FRESH FOOD. The company serves 1 million idlis in addition to many patent products per day and has a turnover of Rs. 150 crores.
His story is an epitome of strong determination and love for passion. Born and brought up in a remote part of Wayanad, Kerala, his father was an illiterate farmer. Due to lack of basic facilities and disinterest in studies, Mustafa failed miserably in class VI. As it is rightly said that “Failure is the single best maker of human success.”Having fear to work on a small farm throughout his life, he took another shot and came up with flying colours. Keeping up with good spirits, he joined NIT Calicut for an engineering course and subsequently Motorola in the United Kingdom. Having such a lucrative job and comfortable lifestyle didn’t give him goosebumps. Well, destiny had some other plans and his passion to become an entrepreneur was slowly turning towards reality after he quit the job and joined IIM, Bangalore. It was during the MBA course that he decided to follow entrepreneurship.
THE ENTREPRENEUR JOURNEY
Mustafa’s cousin ran a kiryana store on the outskirts of Bangalore. He would sit there on weekends and holidays. He noticed that the dosa batter that was sold in polythene bags was of poor quality but was rich in demand. This was the turning point in his life when he decided to sell ingredient-rich and high-quality batter without using preservatives.
In 2005, he rented a small 50 square feet area and started his own venture along with his cousins. With an investment of 25,000INR, two grinders, mixer and a sealing machine ID fresh was soon emerging as a brand. Initially, the company was on backfoot with 80% unsold market returns. It took nine months to sell 100kg on a daily basis. As the demand for product increased, the company moved to bigger space and R&D on similar products was started. Intense R&D resulted in the introduction of new RTC(Ready to Cook) products. One of the most innovative product, vada with a hole converted squeezed batter into perfected shape vada. The company won the patent rights which paved way for investors and funding.
In 2014, funding of 35 crores was raised from Helion Venture Partners and demand for products quadrupled after the company started its operation in Dubai and whole South India. According to Mustafa “opportunities lies everywhere, we just need common sense to find it.”
In 2017, whopping $25M funding was raised from Premji Invest. The company has made a revenue of Rs. 150 crores in 2018 with a target of Rs. 1000 crore in half a decade. The company has now partnered with BigBasket and Groffers.
Dear Students, “If you have to achieve something, do it immediately. Don’t wait for tomorrow.”