“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”
Next time when you’ll remember this saying, you’ll think of P.CMustafa and his four cousins. Five intelligent brains who ran a Kirana store in Bangalore. And on the basis of their imagination and innovation have now built a company with annual revenue of more than 250 crores. ID Foods is a company that has launched over 18 products in 45 cities and now expanding in UAE and America. Every day, the company processes 65,000 kg of Idli/Dosa batter in each of its 4 plants, while employing 2000 people.
Sounds like a perfect story of expansion-through intelligence!
The Back Story
This story began withP.C Mustafa and his four cousins – Shamsudeen TK, Abdul Nazer, Jafer TK and Noushad TA. In the Kirana shop managed by these siblings, Idli/Dosa batter was a daily household purchase. But the product from the local vendors often came with complaints regarding quality and hygiene. So, to fill this loophole ID Foods was founded in 2005.
P. C Mustafa, an IIM Bangalore graduate had no knowledge about how the food industry works. When P.C Mustafa and his four cousins started, nothing went as planned. They could hardly sell 100 packets of batter in the first nine months. They started from a 50 sq. foot facility to build this brand of trust. The brand of trust which aimed to make food preparation for woman a little less burdensome. Over fermentation, packaging errors, storage problems- they overcame everything while making Rs 400 profits from the first day itself.
ID Foods and Its Innovation
When a company is led by an engineered mind, it is bound to have a gallery of innovations. From ID Foods we can learn one thing for sure:
“When you have the ability to imagine innovative solutions to everyday problems, no barrier stands in the way of your success”
ID Foods started with just Idli/Dosa batter but today they offer a range of products which includes Malabar Parota, Vada batter, Filter coffee decoction, grated coconut with innovative packaging and many more.
When P.C Mustafa and his four cousins realized that making an Udid Vada for every Indian household was a difficult chore. An Indian delicacy that was so tasty as a breakfast or appetizer. Losing all the enjoyment of the Vada just because of the preparation?
They thought that everyone deserved to prepare delicious Vadas at home. And this thought made way to the innovation of Squeeze and Fry Vada Batter– A pouch that was designed with a patented technology to squeeze out Vadas.
No rocket science just common sense!
Trust as A Marketing Strategy
ID Foods came up with a marketing strategy called “Trust Shop”. Under this strategy a drive was conducted every morning for several months at 42 locations in Mumbai. At each location a storage vehicle with all ID Products was parked. Anyone could come and pick up any product. Paying any worth for it or not paying at all. It was the customer’s choice. For the TrustShop, it was all about trusting the customers for what value they would return. This game of trust was a high-risk plan. But the company achieved local sales of Rs 50 Lakh when they were expecting to touch Rs 40 Lakh while only 2% customers failed to return the value.
The company is backed with Azim Premji with a funding of $25 Million and 25 per cent stake. Earlier the company received a funding of $4 Million from Helion Venture Partners.