Breakfast was a luxury while I was growing up. So I thought I want to make something healthy and not so expensive for people
iD Fresh Food, the maker of idli-dosa batter which now has a revenue of Rs 230 crore in FY18 aims to grow its business four times to Rs 1,000 crore in the next three years, said Musthafa PC, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of iD Fresh Food.
In a candid chat with Moneycontrol, 45-year-old Musthafa said the strategy to touch Rs 1,000 crore would be through penetrating to newer markets, newer products and through a focus on a distribution model similar to that it currently follows.
In the last few years, a slew of homes in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and in Dubai begin their day with home-style, fresh, preservative-free breakfast products from iD.
Musthafa said in the next one year he plans to expand presence and start selling iD Fresh Food products in North India, Kolkata and Gujarat.
iD’s attractive zip-locked bags have an average lifespan of four-seven days.
“We distribute right quantity in the right store, right day. For instance: products for Mumbai stores are manufactured in Mumbai,” he explained.
In 2005, Musthafa along with his four cousins Abdul Nazer, Shamsudeen TK, Jafar TK and Noushad TA set up iD in a 50 sq ft kitchen with two grinders, a mixer and a sealing machine in Thippasandra, a bustling locality near Bengaluru’s upscale Indiranagar. They spent nine months in that kitchen selling 100 packets a day.
Bengaluru-based iD Fresh Food has revolutionised food packaging and establishing its presence in 24 cities across India and in the UAE.
“I was profitable from day one. My first profit was Rs 450 and now I want to focus on taking my products to the next level and making new manufacturing facilities,” he said sounding ecstatic.
Today, the company produces and delivers a wide range of ready-to-cook, fresh Indian foods, including Idli-dosa batter, squeeze-and-fry vada batter, ragi idli and dosa batter, rice- rava idli batter, Malabar parota, whole wheat parota, whole wheat chapati, natural paneer and natural curd.
Musthafa said the unique selling proposition (USP) of their product is 100 percent natural, home-made style of preparation, without the use of any chemicals, preservatives, emulsifiers, synthetic stabilizers, artificial colours or flavours.
With backing from Premji Invest, Azim Premji’s investment arm, and Helion Venture Partners, the Bengaluru-based company recently forayed into the non-alcoholic beverage market with an authentic, first-of-its-kind Filter Coffee decoction.
“We want to take our coffee decoction to a new level. We also want to venture into superfoods or healthy foods like red-rice batter and multigrain batter,” Musthafa said who speak in heavy Malayali accent.
When asked if they plan to raise more funds, Musthafa said, “We don’t require more funds as of now. We took two rounds of investments first round from Helion Venture Partners in 2014, we took Rs 35 crores and last year (2017) we took Rs 150 crore from Premji Invest. We will use the funds to make world-class manufacturing and expand in other cities.”
Musthafa, who hails from a remote village from Wayanad district in Kerala started the company with just Rs 50,000 in his pocket. This entrepreneur now has 1,600 employees working with him.
Speaking about how the idea of batter came up, Musthafa said. “Shamsuddin (Musthafa’s cousin) had seen dosa batter being sold in plastic bags tied with a rubber band in nearby stores and suggested they make and supply dosa batter. That is when I decided to invest Rs 50,000 and start a company immediately.”
“We cracked it. Today we make 55,000 kg of batter daily which is 1.3 million idlis every day,” Musthafa, who did his MBA from IIM-Bengaluru said.
He went on to explain why the company was named iD. “We were discussing names when a cousin suggested ID for idli dosa and then we named the venture ID Fresh as we were supplying fresh dosa and idli batter.”
Recalling his past Musthafa said, “Breakfast was a luxury while I was growing up. So I thought I want to make something healthy and not so expensive for people.”
On plans to go public, Musthafa said, “Not immediately. It is too early.”
Musthafa completed a post-graduate programme in enterprise management from the Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru in 2007, and by February 2008 became a full-time entrepreneur at Best Food Enterprises, which was rechristened iD Fresh Food (India) Private Limited in 2014.
A graduate from the National Institute of Technology, Calicut, Musthafa also worked with companies like Motorola, Citibank, and Intel.iD Fresh had revenue of Rs 110 crore in 2015-16, 37 percent higher than the year before.
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