The only recipe to be successful is to go out there and give your best shot every day. Each day might not turn out to be as desired by you, but eventually, you will win and all finally you will realize that hard work, dedication, sacrifice was worth it. Here’s an inspiring story of PC Mustafa who failed Class VI but passed the exam called life and is now the CEO of iD Fresh Food.
PC Mustafa’s life was not unusual from any other kid his generation. He was born to a coolie who worked in the coffee plantation to put two meals on a plate for his family. Mustafa’s mother was a housewife and had no exposure to education. Mustafa had no liking for education as he liked to stay at coffee fields to help his father more than going to school to get an education. As a result of this Musthafa failed in Class VI and this made his resolve much stronger to give up on studies and join his father who had also discontinued studies after Class IV.
But as they say, some are destined to achieve greatness in life, and all they need is one life to change moment in life. Someone to show the right direction and help the person take the right path in life. That moment came in Mustafa’s life when his maths teacher asked him a rather simple yet most important question, “Whether you want to become a coolie or a teacher?”, Mustafa who loved his maths teacher was stunned by the gravity of this question. He had seen his father struggle to make ends meet and he had also seen how inspiring a personality his maths teacher was.
Mustafa’s path became clear. He wanted to be a teacher and change people’s lives. The same Mustafa who failed Class VI topped the exams in Class X. This massive transformation in Mustafa was because of unstinted support of his maths teacher.
Journey of an Engineer
“I had only one ambition: I wanted to be a maths teacher like Mathew sir. He was my role model”, says Mustafa with a big smile thinking about good old memories.
Even though there were financial problems his parents supported him for further studies and as a result, Mustafa graduated as an Engineer. “I had no dreams to be an engineer then. I wanted to be a well-known engineer” says Mustafa whose entrepreneurial skill is unmatched.
As an engineer, he served at an Indian Start-Up in US, then went to work in Ireland and Dubai before he finally decided to return to India. His reasons to quit were simple; he wanted to spend time with his parents, he understood the need for an MBA degree, and he wanted to give back something to the society.
Engineer becomes an Entrepreneur
Even though he had quit his high paying job and had returned to India, he had no idea what so ever about what he was going to do in future. He was having a splendid time with his parents when one of his cousin Shamsuddin told Mustafa about how Dosa batter was being made and sold in plastic bags in the nearby stores. Shamsuddin also planted the idea of making Dosa batter and supplying them to nearby shops.
The timing of the idea was right or something, but the idea clicked, and within no time a team of 5 members got together and started preparing Dosa batter and supplying them to nearby shops. Initially, Mustafa made an investment of Rs. 25,000 and they started preparing Dosa batter at a 550 sq. ft. Plot with the help two grinders, one mixer, and a sealing machine. They had decided that they would not employ anyone till their venture made profits for them and hence five cousins were in charge of preparing the batter.
Their initial target was 20 shops and 100 packets every day. The idea clicked, and their efforts brought them success as more and more customers were asking for iD Fresh Food Dosa batter compelling the shop owners to maintain a stock of the same. This increased the demand for Dosa batter, and within nine months of starting this venture, they met their goal.
Mustafa completed his MBA in 2007 and joined the company as its CEO in charge of marketing and Finance.
In two years iD Fresh Food increased capacity to 3500 kg a day. The number of stores demanding for Dosa batter had dramatically increased from 20 to 400. The company also had an employee strength of 30. Paranthas were also added to the list with an extra investment of Rs. 30 lakhs. Just like their revenue, the size of iD office had become huge by now.
By 2012, iD Fresh Food had become a National Brand with its firm footing in Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad to name a few. Today, iD Fresh Food produces around 50,000 kg in its plant with a total investment of around Rs. 4 crores. The revenue of iD Fresh Food has already touched the magical figure of Rs. 100 crores. Mustafa aims of making iD Fresh Food the most popular and trusted brand in India and make it a Rs. 1000 crore company by 2020. He also says he will be employing at least 5000 people by then.
Mustafa who employs only rural poor people with commitment says it is very hard to find a right team to take the company forward. But this does not stop him from dreaming a beautiful future for his company.
Why would he stop dreaming? When a rural boy who failed Class VI could start a company with ten packets a day and take it to 50,000 packets a day, why should he stop dreaming? This amazing journey of Mustafa is truly an inspiring one, and he has a lot more to achieve in future. All we can say is All the best, may the force be with you.