It’s something Unilever was salivating over for a long time but hasn’t managed to get a bite of even now. 44-year-old PC Musthafa however grabbed the biggest white space in the foods industry with his centre of plate offerings like chapati, parota and batter for idli and dosa. Through his company iD Fresh Food, he has managed to build a solid food brand in categories with greatest potential to convert from unorganised to organised packaged foods — something every food company is today envious of. It is a result of not just smelling the “food” at the right time, but having the creativity to market it the right way and even more, embracing technology to scale the operation efficiently.
That iD’s products are natural, fresh and free of preservatives, and come in user-friendly packaging, is adequate reason for customers to love iD, but its success as a budding food company stems from the consistency in quality it has been able to achieve in a segment that has little or no precedence of industrial production
“People don’t believe me when I tell them that some of my stores in Bengaluru sell more iD packets than Maggi in a day,” says Damodar Mall, CEO of Reliance Retail. That should be enough to send the founder of iD Fresh Food to cloud nine. But PC Musthafa, CEO of Bengaluru-based iD Fresh Food prefers to stay grounded.
“I strongly believe that supply creates demand,” smiles Musthafa. Today his ready to cook and eat food products company supplies fresh batter for a 1.4 million idlis — among other food products — not only to Indian households, but to the Gulf countries too.
In 2006, when Musthafa started selling idli and dosa batter, there was no sizeable organised market for batter. So he introduced batter in user-friendly packaging across retail shelves in India. He has now expanded his product portfolio to parotas and chapatis as well. While Musthafa’s supply-creates-demand theory seems logical, a bigger contributor to his success is his determination.
For Musthafa, the journey was no cake