How A School Drop-Out Went On To Build A Business That Rakes In ₹500 Cr In Revenue

There was a time when PC Musthafa could barely make himself a three-course meal. But today he has become central to most Indian households' first meal of the day. 

Musthafa, the CEO and co-founder of iD Fresh Food, is behind the fresh, crisp dosas and soft, fluffy idlis that are served on the breakfast table across hundreds of thousands of families almost every day.

The Story: But this was no easy feat for Mustafa. He is the son of a daily wage earner from a remote village in Kerala. He dropped out of school when he was merely 10 years old and a shortage of money forced him to work as a daily wager alongside his father, but Musthafa did not let his failure dictate his future.

He went on to study engineering at the prestigious NIT Calicut. After a few job stints in Europe, and the Middle East Musthafa returned to India in 2004. This is when he went on to his Masters at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Soon after, within almost a year, iD was born. In 2005, Musthafa along with his four cousins set up iD in a small kitchen. They made batches of idly and dosa batter inside the 50 sq feet kitchen in Bangalore's Thippasandra.

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"I think it was because of my ID card, but I think Shamsudeen was thinking idli-dosa," he told media outlet Yourstory, speaking about the inspiration behind the brand name. The cousins then paid ₹2,000 to a designer to get the logo and packaging design, the story added.

In 2006, the company made its first sale and ever since then, there has been no looking back. In 2007, Musthafa took over as the iD's full-time CEO, and that's when his journey as an entrepreneur was put to several tests.

In 2009, with high ambitions, iD entered the Mecca of idli-dosa: Chennai. The company started selling its flagship batter for ₹40 per kilo. But soon, they realised the cut-throat competition in the market. Rivals were selling batter at half the rate. It massively affected the business. iD shut down its factories in the state and managed to pay its workers. With this, their Chennai experiment flopped. But that wasn't for long. In 2012, iD re-entered Chennai, this time with new product offerings.

Today iD is present across UAE, UK, US, Saudi, Oman, and Qatar and that is a testament to the company's perseverance. As per media reports, the company made close to ₹500 crore in FY23.

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