Then a teacher helped Mustafa PC return to school – a move that would eventually help the laborer’s son get a well-paying job and later start a new food company that is today the most successful of its kind in the country. is one of the.
In his interview, Mustafa PC, CEO of iD Fresh Food, said that a teacher convinced him to return to school and even taught him for free. Because of this, he topped his class in Mathematics. Encouraged by this, he became the school topper. When it was time for him to go to college, his teachers paid his fees.
Mustafa PC told Humans of Bombay, “When I got a job and earned my first salary of Rs 14,000, I gave it to my father.” “He cried, ‘You’ve earned more than my life!
Eventually, Mustafa got a job abroad, earning enough to pay off his father’s ₹2 lakh loan in two months.
But despite having a well-paying job, he says, he wanted to start his own business. ID Fresh Food came up with the idea when Mustafa’s cousin saw a supplier selling idli-dosa batter in a plain pouch. Customers were complaining about the quality of the product. Mustafa’s cousin called him with the idea of building a “quality batter company” – and then started the ID Fresh Food Company.
Mustafa PC initially invested ₹50,000 in the company and let his cousins run the show. He started out in a 50-square-foot kitchen with a grinder, mixer and a weighing machine. “It took us more than 9 months to sell 100 packets a day,” says Mustafa. In the meantime, he made a lot of mistakes and learned from them.
“After three years, I realized that our company needed me full time,” says Mustafa. So he quit his job and put all his savings into his business, assuring his bewildered parents that he could get a new job anytime if the business failed.
For years, the company struggled and suffered serious losses. There was a time when they could not pay salaries to their employees. Recalls Mustafa, “We had promised our 25 employees that one day we would make them crorepatis.
After struggling for eight years, the company’s fortunes changed overnight after getting investors. The CEO of ID Fresh Food says, “Overnight we became a 2000 crore company. After all, we have fulfilled the promise we made to our employees, they are all millionaires now!”
According to The Hindu, iD Fresh Food ended the fiscal year 2011 with a revenue of Rs 294 crore.
Mustafa has one regret – he could not share his success with his childhood teacher. Today, he respects his legacy and talks about every opportunity he gets.
“When I returned home, I learned that he had passed away. I broke down and thought, ‘If only he could see what a laborer has achieved because of him!’ Now, I talk about him at every opportunity to honor his legacy, he says.
In 2018, Mustafa PC was invited to speak at Harvard and thanked both his father and his teacher for their success. “I told him first about the teacher who didn’t let me give up, and then about my father, who still works diligently every day in his farm,” says Mustafa. “These two men taught me that it doesn’t matter where you come from – if you work hard, even a worker’s son can build a million dollar company.”
“Today, iD is a $100 million brand,” he said in his 2018 speech, a video of which was shared on YouTube by iD Fresh Food the same year. According to BloombergQuint, in 2017, the firm raised $25 million from PremjiInvest, the family office of Azim Premji, valuing the company at around $100 million.
Mustafa PC’s inspiring journey from “school dropout” to CEO has earned her a lot of praise on social media.
One Facebook user wrote, “I’ve used ID products twice and knew it was a venture started by some pros but didn’t know it had a really inspiring backup story! Kudos!”
Another user wrote, “Awesome story! You have made your parents and teacher proud and you are determined to keep your promise to your employees…”