Secret Diary 2019

PC Musthafa | Family, Education and Career | Secret Diary

Secret Diary of PC Musthafa

  • I owe my success to My dad
  • Strength Focus
  • Weakness Being a perfectionist
  • My mentor Dad again
  • Biggest setback Closing of my used car business
  • Sounding board DVR Seshadri, Kanwaljit Singh and Rahul Garg
  • Proudest moment Being honoured with IIM-B’s Youngest Distinguished Alumni award
  • Advice to kids Follow your passion
  • Most vulnerable moment When our first Chennai foray failed
  • Role model Prophet Mohammed
  • Superhero moment My speech at Harvard
  • Best days of my life I enjoy every day
  • Best advice It is best not to take all the advice that comes your way
  • Best management lesson Business is built on trust
  • Favourite movie Forrest Gump
  • Favourite holiday destination Dubai

The village I grew up in, Chennalode in Wayanad, was small but beautiful. It would plunge into darkness every evening, since we were not on the grid, and candles and kerosene lamps would flicker to life, like fireflies. We had just one primary school, and the secondary school was a three-kilometre walk and a village away. Roads were bad, so most kids would drop out after seventh standard.

My family wasn’t well off — Uppa worked in other people’s farms and earned a modest salary of Rs 600/month. It had to support seven people — father, mother, my three younger sisters, my father’s parents and me. Three meals a day was a distant dream and breakfast, a luxury we couldn’t afford.

Uppa would take additional jobs such as cleaning the farms, and sub-contract the work to me. I started working at the age of 10. I would help after school and on weekends, and he would pay me for it too! On the weekends and holidays, umma would take all four of us into the forest nearby, six to seven kilometre away, to collect firewood. She was admirably courageous and didn’t let even wild elephants get in our way. After a day’s gathering, we would carry the most we could, to sell in the village. Every penny counted. I think I learnt the art of hustling and getting the job done, no matter what, from my parents. It’s probably in my genes. When I turned 10, I embarked on my first entrepreneurial venture.

During my summer holidays, I borrowed money from my uncle and walked 14 kilometres to the nearest town and brought back a lot of candy to set shop. I raised a rickety one with umma’s saree and uppa’s old bench, and ran the establishment for an entire summer to make Rs 300 over the two months. It was a zero-capex model. I only had to ensure my goods were safe from my sisters; and I was a brother good enough to give them one each every day.

When I turned 12, I bought a goat from what I had saved, sold the milk and gave the money to umma, who saved, and soon, one goat became three. Like any good entrepreneur, I was already thinking of expansion, not in numbers, but moving up the value chain. So, I traded in the goats for a cow and that helped bring in more income.

Studies never interested me. I was keener on helping uppa and umma run the family; anyway studying under the candle light or kerosene lamp was quite painful. It was the perfect excuse to stay away from my books. The only thing I was good at was math and, the only motivation to go school, honestly, was the mid-day meal!

This attitude finally cost me heavily. I failed in class VI and quit school out of humiliation. I could not bear to think of sharing a bench with the juniors. My father tried to convince me to go back, but I stood my ground and insisted that I would join him for work full-time. One person, however, noticed my absence in school after a few weeks — my math teacher, Mathew sir. He used to teach classes VI and VII. He sent word through my friends for me to go meet him and, when I didn’t go, he landed up in the farm where uppa and I were working. All of them tried to convince me but I wasn’t willing to give in. Except, Mathew sir asked me a question that changed the course of my life. He said, “When you grow up, do you want to struggle like your father or be a teacher like me and support your dad?” Instantly, I knew what I had to do. Of course, I wanted to be a math teacher like him. I will never forget his hand in my success.

So, I went back to school. I was struggling with English and Hindi, and Mathew sir once again came to my rescue. He helped me with English and persuaded the Hindi teacher to teach me after school. I had no friends in class, since I was sitting with the juniors, and that helped me focus on studies without any distractions. To my surprise, I started to do well. Suddenly, a lot of my classmates began to ask me for help with lessons and teachers became more attentive. Now, I loved going to school. Nothing builds self-confidence like success. I topped class VII, and there was no looking back.

In Class 10, I stood first and the marks I got were the highest in the school’s history. For junior college, I had to step out of Wayanad, but my parents didn’t have the money to pay for my fees or boarding. That’s when my father’s friend suggested I apply to Farook College in Calicut, and when uppa and I got there, I fell in love with the campus at first sight. Luckily, I got the admission and the college had scholarships for poor students, which covered stay and food as well.

Thus began one of the most difficult phases of my life. During mealtimes, we had to wait for the paying students to finish before being served. We were made fun of by a few paying students and sometimes the food ran out. If we went in before them and food fell short, would complain against us. It was humiliating, but we swallowed our pride and stuck around because we knew education was our ticket to a better life. I was determined to get a college degree and become a collector. Most of the paying students didn’t discriminate against us, only a handful did and we learnt to deal with it.

I hadn’t heard about engineering. My classmate was the son of a school teacher, and he was always in a crisp white shirt and black pants. Back then, I had only two pairs of clothes for an entire year and they would tatter and tear by the end. I wanted to be a collector who wore crisp white shirts and black pants to work.

Besides the taunts, there was a bigger problem at college. All the classes were taught in English and, until then, my schooling had been in Malayalam. So I didn’t understand a word the teachers were saying and I was distraught. Thankfully, I had a generous friend Usman, who translated every lesson for me. It was such a big help. I was able to catch up with my studies, classes weren’t as nightmarish as they used to be and eventually I was among the first five students in class. When you are determined to do something, you will always find a way despite challenges.

One of teachers noticed I was doing well and asked me to attend coaching classes to crack the engineering entrance exams. I told him I was broke and didn’t have the money to pay for tuition. Again, kindness saved the day. He was a teacher at the institute and he offered to pay for the classes. I passed with flying colours — or to be precise, with the 63rd rank, and joined Regional Engineering College (now the National Institute of Technology). Here too, Usman had a part to play. He had filled the form for admission into the college on my behalf and, after the results were announced, both of us were in. I chose to pursue computer science.

With part student loan and part scholarship, I made it through, but I had to be judicious with the spending. Often, friends who knew that I couldn’t join them for dinners for this reason would chip in for me. Four years went by really quickly and it was placement time. It was my next stumbling block. I was keen on getting into Infosys but I couldn’t crack their aptitude test; in fact, I didn’t make the cut with most leading software companies. If I cleared the aptitude test, I fumbled during the interviews because I couldn’t speak English that well. I finally managed to land an offer from Manhattan Associates.

I was to join their Bangalore (or Bengaluru now) office at a monthly salary of Rs 7,000, but it was the beginning of the IT boom, so people were quitting their firm. Desperate for people to join them, they bumped up our joining salary to Rs 14,000/month. I couldn’t believe my luck! My dad thought something was wrong and perhaps that would be my annual package. He couldn’t believe that anyone would pay that much as a monthly salary. It was more than his lifetime savings. He thought it was a scam.

Uppa, my uncle and I left for the city, where my cousin Nasser lived. If you thought my childhood was tough, his was worse. His family couldn’t afford even two meals a day. So, he ran away to Bangalore in search of a better life. He started as a sweeper and became a store manager in two years. He was, and is, dear to me.

My father came with me on my first day of work. He patiently waited outside through the day, since he still didn’t believe that the offer was real. I convinced him that all was well, that the company was trustworthy and the offer was official. Finally, after much cajoling, he and my uncle took the bus home. When I got my first month’s salary, which was indeed Rs 14,000, I traveled to Wayanad and handed it over to uppa. He was thrilled beyond words.  After a few months, I got an offer from Motorola and, for a boy from a small village in Wayanad, getting to work with a multinational was a matter of great pride.

After a few months in the city, I was sent to Ireland. I couldn’t understand their accent and they couldn’t understand mine, but it was the best thing that happened to me. Travelling opened my eyes and gave me confidence. It also led to many interactions with different people, and with that, my English improved as well. All was going great but I could not shake off a growing homesickness. I had no close friends there and missed Indian food. I still prayed five times a day in congregation, and it was not an easy thing to do there. But how could I give up my salary in pounds?

Three months later, I got a job offer from Citibank in Saudi Arabia in 1996 and my salary was more than Rs 100,000/month. I remember I sent the entire salary in cash through a friend back home, and father started to cry when he saw money. He had never seen so much cash at one go and, in one stroke, he cleared debts he had gathered over a lifetime. I was able to put two of my sisters through college, help in getting all three of them married and even build a house for my parents in our village.

It is around that time that my friend and I started an online used-car business. Used-car sales was flourishing in Saudi and, in those days of dotcom boom, we wanted to bring the business online. Ours was more like a listing platform where we brought the seller and buyer together, and it started to do really well. We even got offers from Avis and Budget Rent a Car (both US car rental companies), but we didn’t want to sell just yet. However, the dotcom bust happened, and our business did not survive. This cut deeply into my savings and my confidence. I had begun to fear failure.

My boss was moving to Dubai and I moved with him, with a cushy job that paid well. I had also married Sajna by then. Life was starting to look up again. Again, homesickness began to creep in. I had not really spent time with my parents since junior college and the one-month vacation we took every year, though spent entirely at the village, did not seem enough. Secondly, I had always wanted to study more but could not because of my financial responsibilities, despite having a good GATE score. I had wanted to pursue Master’s in computer science from IIT or IISc. Lastly, the techie job was getting monotonous and I wanted to try anything different. I had risen from my circumstances with help from strangers and I wanted to do something similar for the many smart kids back in my village. So, in 2003, I decided to return to India.

To say it was not easy would be an understatement. My father was flabbergasted, unable to understand why I would give up such a comfortable life I had built. But I was adamant and, thankfully, my wife and cousin supported my decision. Nasser was running a small kirana store in Bangalore’s Thippasandra area by then. He said, if it doesn’t work out, you can always go back and that it is not the end of the world. With the confidence they gave me, I came back home with savings of Rs 1.5 million and a pipe dream.

I got a job with Intel and this time, the role was more managerial, where I was leading a team. I realised that I enjoyed managing people more than programming computers, and so decided to pursue an MBA. Ever since I saw their sprawling campus during one of our picnics to Bannerghatta National Park, IIM Bangalore had become a dream destination. But, the entrance wasn’t easy, so I put my head down and prepared for two years. Finally, I cracked it. I now led a hectic life, juggling work and studies but I got to meet my parents every month, so I was happy. Also, as the in-house techie, I helped in upgrading Nasser’s kirana shop by putting in processes such as daily-account closing that helped run the business more smoothly. Meanwhile, we had lengthy chats about what businesses we could pursue.

Nasser wanted to start a supermarket chain but I wasn’t too kicked about it. We had a lot of ideas and my MBA helped in filtering them, and figuring out what we shouldn’t do. I had become good at elimination. The first premise was that we should play in a segment where is there is no MNC or large player with deep pockets, because we cannot compete with them. The business must be scalable and profitable because we couldn’t fund the losses.

These discussions were continuing endlessly when we noticed that readymade batter that was being supplied to Nasser’s store, in a plain pouch sealed with a rubber band, had regular takers but there were constant complaints about the quality, hygiene and service. My cousin tried to fix this several times but the problem persisted. That’s when Shamsu, one of our cousins suggested that we make the batter ourselves. It was our ‘Aha!’ moment. We decided to give it a try and that’s how iD Fresh Foods was born.


Five cousins — (Abdul) Nasser, Shamsu (Shamsudeen TK), Jaffer (TK), Naushad (TA) and I — decided to start the company together.

We started with a Rs 50,000 investment in a 50 square feet kitchen with one grinder, a mixer, a weighing machine, a sealing machine and a second-hand scooter for delivery. We gave ourselves six months to get it right. It was going to be just the five of us to begin with and our initial target was to get 100 packets sold every day. We wanted to get there in six months. Our job was to go to the market daily, get the rice and dal, make the batter, ferment it and then pack it. Since we didn’t have storage space and working capital, buying ingredients was a daily affair. Once the batter was packed, we would load it into the scooter and deliver it to the stores ourselves.

By the time we were done with deliveries, we would be drenched in sweat. It was back-breaking, but there is no denying that we enjoyed it. We identified 20 stores in and around the neighbourhood because Nasser knew these store owners. Nasser earlier had a spices distribution business, so they were his clients, and that helped us build our initial network. Our first customer was Nasser himself and we got our initial trials done in his store. Starting up was easy, but convincing retailers to stock our product was not. Most of them said “we are good friends and we wish you well, but who is going to buy idli-dosa batter?” We didn’t lose hope and kept at it. By the end of the first month, we had finally managed to convince the store-owners to keep the products.

For the first three months, we were packing 100 units and sending it into the market, and having 25 returned. Consumers still hadn’t fully warmed up to the idea of using readymade batter. But we kept pushing the product because we believed in the new economic theory that supply creates demand. I strongly believe in Steve Jobs’ philosophy that people don’t know what they want unless they experience it. Apple would have never come up with the iPhone if they had gone by market research and only created what people wanted. Once buyers found that the product quality was better than what they had expected, the popularity of the brand was built through word of mouth.

We focused on three things. One, we would ensure the highest product quality; my product would always be the hero of the bunch. Two, we would ensure the highest service quality, which meant stores would be replenished on a daily basis and we would focus on the right placement of the product at the right stores. Three, we would get the packaging right, making it look like a premium product. People were more comfortable buying a branded product, with the expiry date prominently printed, rather than the unbranded batter in a plastic cover held together with a rubber brand. All of this helped and we were selling 100 packets a day by the ninth month.

We did our research and found that there were 1,000 stores we could supply to in Bangalore and, even if we maintained our average of selling five packets to an outlet, we should have been able to sell 5,000 packets daily. We were confident that we were on the right track. So we decided to set up a larger kitchen with a capacity of 2,000 kg for an investment of Rs 600,000 that came out of my savings.

We were gearing up for our dream run but I had started struggling with finding time for work, family and business. So, in 2008, I made a choice and decided to join iD full-time. Again, I had left my father shocked. Why would his son give up a cushy tech job to become a rice merchant? To be fair to him, nobody really understood what this idli-batter business was. They thought that maybe we were getting into trading. We managed to calm all the frayed nerves by saying if it didn’t work out, I would go back to being a techie. The company was generating about Rs 3-4 million in annual revenue when I joined as CEO.

We were able to quickly scale up the business. We hired young, smart boys from remote villages and across cities, and trained them in manufacturing and sales. By 2010, we were supplying 3,000 kg of batter to stores in the city (which had now become Bengaluru), clocking annual revenue of Rs 100 million. We thought if we could sell so much in the tech capital, imagine what we could do in the Mecca of idlis, Chennai. We decided to plough in all our profit into setting up a plant there and debuted in the market in 2010. Only after we entered it did we realise what a tough market it was.

For one, we couldn’t compete with the local players on price. They were buying subsidised ration rice at Rs 1/kg to make the batter. So, they were able to supply at Rs 20/kg, and iD batter at Rs 45/kg was way too expensive. Secondly, since the subsidised rice was not really suitable for the batter, they would add loads of soda into it and that would make their idlis softer than ours. Therefore, for the Chennai customer, not only was our batter much more expensive, its quality didn’t meet their expectations. But we didn’t want to compromise on our product quality, and didn’t want to resort to unethical practices to lower the cost of our ingredients.

Meanwhile, business in Bengaluru had begun to slip because the core team was focused on setting things right in Chennai. Our cash flow was impacted since we were losing money in our new market. We had ploughed our entire profit into setting up Chennai infrastructure. So, for nearly six months, we couldn’t pay salaries on time. A few of our employees left but most of them stayed back. It was proving to be a costly journey.

Selling idli batter is not a fancy business, and not one of the investors was interested in funding us at the time. Our second option was to borrow money and run the business till things got better, but it went against our ideology. We don’t take or pay interest. Also, I strongly believe that once you have an EMI hanging over your head, you lose focus. But there were employees to pay. Finally, the only option was to shut the Chennai operations down, sell the assets and use the money to pay salaries. In the beginning of 2011, we decided to exit the market.

We lost a lot of money but not our confidence. Our team decided to enter the market with a better strategy at a later date. The journey to Chennai cost us about Rs 3.5 million, and it hurt to absorb that kind of loss at the time. My professor at IIM and my mentor, Mr (DVR) Seshadri, used to say that a good manager always kills the wrong project at the right time. We did just that with Chennai. If we hadn’t, it would have taken down the entire business. It was the courage to take such bold decisions during tough times that made us the brand we are today. I have always focused on cash flow and profitability because I believe that is the only way to build a great business.

We take immense pride in sticking to our principles, even when it costs us heavily. That’s how we have grown to become one of the trusted brands in India. Once, we had to walk away from a large deal because our product would have been used to promote liquor. This was way back when our business was making only Rs 10 million in revenue, and we got an order for Rs 15 million from a five-star hotel chain that wanted the diamond-cut snacks we made. I was thrilled because it was good money but I got curious to know how it fit into their menu. The manager told me that they were planning to use it as a bar snack, but I didn’t want any of our products used to promote liquour. So, as hard as it was, I decided to refuse the order. I told my team the reason why the deal was off and then cried on my way back.

I didn’t cry because I lost out on the money but because god gave me the strength to walk away from it. Businesses can be built in several ways but it is most satisfying when you can advance it without giving up on your principles. In hindsight, refusing the deal gave us a lot of clarity on what the company’s vision should be — to assist home chefs in kitchens across India. So, we dropped the snack offering since it didn’t align with the brand. ‘Growth at any cost’  can never be the bedrock of any good business.

In 2012, I reached out to my family, friends and former classmates to join me on my journey to take iD to the next level. We expanded to cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Dubai, with each of them leading the initiatives in these cities. We had a partnership model with a local manufacturing plant in each city and the partner would have a stake in the parent company. We followed the same manufacturing process everywhere. We also expanded into more product categories, and launching parathas and chapatis worked really well for us. We decided to try our luck in the Chennai market once more. This time, we entered as a paratha company and slowly built our network with retailers. Customers took to our parathas, and once we managed to establish iD as a trusted and credible brand, we re-launched the batter.

In 2014, we got our first institutional investor, Helion Ventures. When we were looking for our Series A round, we had three term sheets. Helion’s valuation was about 15% lower than the other offers, but we still went with them because we believed we shared the same vision. Getting the right investor is crucial because the relationship is a lot like marriage. You have to like the girl and not the wealth she comes with. And, with Helion, we were smitten. So what if the girl had a beard! Kanwaljit (Singh) has not only influenced my thinking a great deal, but he has also supported us with all our major decisions.

Premji Invest was our second institutional investor that came on board in 2017, when we raised our Series B round. We shared a lot of common ground in ethics, so this was also an easy decision to make.


Building a great business is like putting together a fabulous recipe. Every ingredient has to add value. Of course, making idli batter is no rocket science, and since there is no towering entry barrier, anyone with a little capital can open shop. That’s why we knew that we had to scale-up our business fast, to protect our market share. We needed to innovate quickly and we started with the business model.

While the whole world was looking to increase the shelf life of products, we went the other way. We focused on selling fresh batter. It’s easier said than done, since first you need to build a distribution channel that supports this. It has to be one that is refreshed daily and everyone, including the retailers and us, maintains zero inventory.

Next, we focused on improving manufacturing efficiency. When we started out, we could only produce 5 kg of batter/hour, with a traditional machine. As we scaled up, it wasn’t practical to have so many machines. It was an engineering problem that we had to solve.

The Germans have the genius when it comes to engineering but, unfortunately, they don’t eat idlis. Our quest for solutions took us to the US, where we discovered that mustard paste is made pretty much like idli batter and the machine used to make that works the way a grinder does. So, with a German company, we co-developed a machine that can grind 5,000 kg of batter/hour.

iD runs on technology today. About eight years ago, we started using a mobile app that tracked store and item-wise sales and wastage on a daily basis. Using the data that we have generated over the past eight years, we can predict demand accurately and reduce wastage to as low 2-3%. This is gold for any company in the fresh foods business. Innovation requires one thing and one thing only — common sense.

We are very proud of the nozzle we created for our vada packs. Everyone loves to have a crispy vada with idli or dosa, only the snack is messy to make. The batter sticks to your hand, leaves trails on your kitchen counter and takes ages to be washed off. We wanted to make that process easier and it took us three years to come up with a solution. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.  First, we couldn’t get the shape of the nozzle right, which means wonky vadas. Then, the size of the spout would be either too big or too small. And, if all of it fell in place, the vadas wouldn’t taste right. It was frustrating at times, but Naseer, whose pet project it was, didn’t give up. We finally we got it right three years later and introduced the product not only to India but to the world during my speech at Harvard. What a proud moment it was for team iD! While this segment may not have earned us a lot of money, it helped us position iD as a smart, cool and innovative brand, and that’s what we want to be known as. Today, you cannot build a brand with money alone.

Money is important, but success comes from various quarters. My father, my superhero and mentor, taught me that. I have seen him work hard all his life but not once have I seen him take a shortcut to make money. He would always tell me, “Never do anything that goes against your values.” To this day, I have stuck to that advice, even when it meant that the business would take a hit or I had to let go of revenue.

When I was little, he used to take me for prayers with him five times every day. It was our time together and often he would tell me a story or two, life lessons if you will, using everyday examples. I understand many of them a lot better now. One day, he pointed to the mango tree in our house and asked me which branch is the closest to the ground and I pointed to the one on the right. He asked me why and I looked at him blankly. He patiently explained to me that this is so because the branch had the most mangoes. While I understood the logic of what he was saying, the spirit of it hit home only recently.

Last year, I was lucky enough to be invited to an event where I met some of the world’s greatest philanthropists, including Bill Gates and Azim Premji. I spent much time with them that day and what struck me hardest was their humility, despite being so immensely powerful. That was when my father’s words really made sense to me.

I am proud of my parents and I believe I have made them proud of me too. The one memory that stands out is when I was awarded IIM-B’s ‘Youngest Distinguished Alumni’ award. It had been my dream to study there, but to have that institution honour you in front of your family was truly special. That would be one of the best days of my life.

When I was in junior college, there were days I would come from the hostel and there would be no food at home. I realised that they would rather skip meals than miss an installment of my school fees. Their determination is what spurred me on.

When you work tirelessly, I strongly believe that the universe, too, conspires to help you every step of the way. I was given teachers who changed the course of my life at critical junctures. Right from Mathew sir in school to T Mohammed sir who paid my fees for coaching classes — they believed in me much before I started believing in myself. My mentor DVR Seshadri, who was my professor at IIM-B, taught me to think big.

In 2010-11, when things were getting difficult, we got a buyout offer from a manufacturer of ready-to-eat foods. They were ready to offer Rs 240 million, almost 2.5x our turnover then. Not in our wildest dreams had we imagined that our business could be worth so much. We had decided to sell and even finalised the deal with the CEO. However, just before signing on the dotted line, I told him that I needed to check with my mentor at least once. So, I called Mr Seshadri about the deal. He asked me what I would do with the money that came from the sale. I had no answer. Then he asked me, “Why Rs 240 million, why not Rs 10 billion?” And from that day, the number has stayed with me. I want iD to become a Rs 10-billion company.

Today we are clocking monthly revenue of Rs 250 million with a valuation of Rs 10 billion.

I believe that it is okay not to know all the answers. But you must be able to admit that to yourself and not hesitate to ask people who may know better.
Two years ago, I was invited to speak at Harvard. I was flattered, but also anxious; public speaking was not one of my strengths. In fact, during my engineering days, I had to present a paper on cryptography, a subject I knew really well. I was well prepared for the presentation but, when the time came, I couldn’t speak a word. I cried that day and swore to myself that I would overcome this fear. So when the Harvard opportunity came, I decided to act.

I reached out to Rakesh Godhwani at IIM-B, who coached me for the speech for two months, which later went viral across social media. He still coaches me. Failures are good, as long as we learn something from it and don’t let it go to waste. I could write a book on the number of mistakes I have made in our journey of building iD. But, the good thing is that those slip-ups are now helping us make the right decisions.

The entrepreneurial spirit is there in everyone. It just boils down to your risk-taking ability and willingness to move out of your comfort zone. I wish I had become an entrepreneur about 10 years earlier. But I guess it was frightening to give up the financial security that comes with a job. I should thank my wife Sajna for standing by me through all the decisions, whether it was to come back to India or become an entrepreneur. I don’t think I could have done it without her. I tell my three sons, who continue to keep me young, to follow their passion. They want to become professional soccer players. That’s how we excel in life. Even the most mundane tasks become pleasurable and the fire within never dies out. Our dream now is to become a fully organic company. We want to make organic affordable and accessible to everyone. We are what we eat and I have lost far too many people close to me to lifestyle diseases and even cancer. It is time to go back to our roots and keep our food preservative and chemical-free. I am also focused on finding a sustainable replacement for all the plastic packaging that we use, even if it means lower margins. I believe that idli could be the answer to solving the world’s hunger problem. It is probably one of the most nutritious meals you can have and iD has all the technology for mass production of idlis, and I’m willing to share it with the world to solve this problem. We did start the company to create employment for the youth in remote villages, and perhaps we have achieved that to a degree. Never had we imagined that we would one day be touching a million lives by providing them healthy breakfast. For someone who couldn’t afford breakfast growing up, life has come full circle.