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PC Musthafa: Leader of the pack

Musthafa of iD Fresh Food is making new strides in selling packaged batter

Published: Sep 21, 2018 06:56:03 PM IST
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 07:52:43 PM IST

PC Musthafa believes in creating a social impact through iD Fresh Food’s products and campaigns; Image: Hemant Mishra for Forbes India

Selling packaged batter for traditional South Indian food like idli and dosa isn’t an easy business. It takes a lot to keep the products fresh and tasty without using preservatives. But PC Musthafa, 45, who hails from Wayanad in Kerala, seems to have perfected it. In fact, he now sells batter for another South Indian delicacy, vada.

“Earlier this year, we launched the innovative ‘squeeze & fry vada batter’ that blends the complex art of traditional vada-making with the simple science of modern technology,” says Musthafa, CEO and co-founder, iD Fresh Food (India) Private Limited. Founded in 2006, the company owns and retails the iD brand of packaged food products that primarily comprises idli and dosa batter made from rice, wheat and oats. “It took us three years and a lot of hard work to get the vada batter and the patented spout [part of the packaging that gives the vada its round shape with a hole in the middle] right.”

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Says Kanwaljit Singh, founder, Fireside Ventures, “I have known PC (as we fondly call him) for over four years now. He’s one of the humblest and most sincere persons I have met and that reflects in the way he’s building iD Fresh Food. He is certainly a tycoon of tomorrow because he will not only build an amazing global business based on the goodness of traditional Indian food but also an honest, caring, and value-based organisation that inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs.” Singh is also on the board of iD Fresh Food.

But Musthafa, who has built a ₹186 crore packaged food business over the last decade, does not believe in labels. “We at iD Fresh believe in creating a social impact through our products and campaigns that revolve around trust, tradition and community building,” he says. “I’m glad that our products have tasted success in all the markets that we have entered and are helping make home-cooked meals more convenient for home-makers and working professionals.”

Musthafa expects to end the current fiscal with revenues of ₹286 crore, which would be a 54 percent year-on-year growth. “The projection for FY20 is ₹350-₹400 crore, of which ₹100 crore is expected to be from just vada batter sales,” he says.

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Success has also come by way of marquee investors pouring in capital to fund the growth of iD Fresh Food. Last March, Premji Invest, which is the family office of billionaire Azim Premji, invested $25 million into the company for an undisclosed minority stake. Earlier, in October 2014, the company had raised $5.2 million from Helion Venture Partners.