From a ₹10 a Day Family to a ₹3,000 Crore Valuation: The Inspiring Journey of iD Fresh Food CEO Musthafa PC
In the heart of a remote village in Kerala, where daily struggles were a norm, Musthafa PC, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of iD Fresh Food, was born into a humble family. His father, a daily wage worker, earned a meagre ₹10 a day. Against all odds, Musthafa not only overcame the challenges of his early life but went on to build a company that stands at an impressive valuation of ₹3,000 crore today.
In a recent conversation on The Neon Show podcast, Musthafa shared poignant insights into his upbringing, revealing that he and his siblings worked alongside their father in a ginger farm to make ends meet. “My father earned ₹10 a day,” Musthafa recalled, emphasizing his family’s financial hardships.
Undeterred by adversity, Musthafa and his siblings took on odd jobs, such as selling firewood in the village, to supplement their family’s income. Every penny earned from these endeavors was saved diligently. Musthafa’s frugality and determination eventually led him to purchase a goat for ₹150, a significant investment that marked the family’s “first asset,” as he fondly described it on the podcast.
Over time, Musthafa strategically sold the goat and used the proceeds to buy a cow. This decision had a transformative impact on the family’s well-being, providing them with a sustainable source of income and nutrition. “We were able to eat three meals a day because the milk from the cow was regulated for the family,” Musthafa reminisced.
Despite the financial constraints, Musthafa pursued his education and secured a place at the National Institute of Technology to study engineering. Subsequently, he entered the IT sector, gaining valuable experience. In 2006, Musthafa embarked on a new journey, founding iD Fresh Food, a company specializing in ready-to-cook packaged food, starting from a small kitchen.
The podcast shed light on the challenges faced by iD Fresh Food in introducing packaged idli-dosa batter to Indian consumers. Musthafa highlighted the prevailing skepticism towards packaged food in India, saying, “We Indians don’t trust our packaged food. Anything in a package form is considered unhealthy.” The initial response was discouraging, with 90 out of 100 packets returning unsold.
Musthafa acknowledged the difficulty of running a food business, particularly one focused on fresh produce without chemicals and preservatives. Despite the setbacks, iD Fresh Food gradually became a household name, winning consumers’ trust.
“Running a fresh food business without adding chemicals and preservatives is the toughest job in the world,” Musthafa emphasized. His enduring spirit and commitment to quality resonated with consumers, making iD Fresh Food a staple for many. Looking ahead, Musthafa expressed optimism, stating, “We can create one of the largest fresh food businesses in the world; all of us can do wonders in the world, but we all wait for tomorrow.” The story of Musthafa PC is a testament to the power of perseverance, determination, and the potential for transformative change against all odds.