Pitch CMO Summit: Common sense is the most important aspect of any business: PC Musthafa

The CEO & Founder of ID Fresh Food talked about how he along with his cousins built a Rs 1000-crore brand from scratch using common sense

At the Pitch CMO Summit held in Bangalore, PC Musthafa, CEO & Founder of ID Fresh Food, took the audience through his humble background to prove his point that common sense is the most important aspect of any business.

Delivering a special address, Musthafa said that his father was a coolie but he and his cousins has built a Rs 1000-crore brand from scratch “without spending money” just with their common sense.

“The most important aspect of any business is common sense which is reducing dangerously these days,” he pointed out.



He started off the session with his childhood memories, sharing how he came from a remote village in Kerala which was devoid of proper infrastructure such as road and electricity. “We used to walk miles to reach school. The mid-day meal was the biggest motivation for me to go there. Three-time meal was a distant dream for us.”

Despite all the difficulties, Musthafa topped in his school. He went on to study engineering at NIT Calicut, followed by job overseas and management study at IIM Bangalore.

Musthafa and his cousin started ID Fresh Food with the intent to create their own fresh idli/dosa batter. Through the venture, the two also wanted to create more employment opportunities for smart talents in his village.

“We consulted roadside vendors and grandmothers to create world’s best batter. We did not have an R&D team, market reports or market research to help us,” said Musthafa proudly.

The other important aspect of their business was to keep his products free of preservatives, which according to Musthafa, was no less than a war.

The CEO then talked about their latest product --a squeeze-and-fry pack of vada batter with a perfect hole for the batter to spout.

The technology and packaging, Musthafa claimed, is a result of common sense. The product, which will help make vadas in a minute, took three years to get manufactured.
So Musthafa biggest advice is: “Look around, identify issues and use common sense to solve it. That’s the best way to solve world’s problems and create business out of it.”

The second point that Musthafa stressed on was innovation. “There are five areas we looked at: product, package, market, backend and technology,” he said.

The company created a one-minute video called ‘everybody can vada’ with its new squeeze-and-fry product. The budget of the video, which went viral, was Rs 1.4 lakh.

“I am yet to meet someone who hasn’t seen the video. That shows the power of innovation,” said Musthafa bursting with confidence.

Similarly, he also spoke about the company’s plan to introduce a pack of filter coffee decoction with a short shelf life.
Shorter shelf life is another point that distinguishes ID Freshfood from the rest, Musthafa said.

“While others were busy creating products with longer shelf life, ID Freshfood was focusing on building a distribution model where every store is geo-tagged or geo-fenced. We have the last seven years’ data. This data helps us accurately predict the demand for a particular product in a particular store.”

“In the beginning, when we used to introduce a new perishable product in a new city, our wastage used to be as high as 45 per cent. Out of 100 packets sent, 45 would come back. Today, with the help of technology, the wastage is less than 1per cent,” he added.

The CEO also spoke about their zero-inventory model. He said thanks to their SAP-based backend platform, 90 per cent of their products are sold on the same day. A mobile app keeps track of sales patterns in each store.

The session also emphasized on bonding. “The world could be a much better place if people spend time with their neighbours,” Musthafa said.

To make sure this happens, Musthafa said, he has put a plan in action. The company has come out with a campaign called ‘Meet your neighbour’, which encourages consumers to share meals with their neighbours.
“Every time, one invites their neighbours for a meal, the company will deliver its products to them for free (upon informing them). The offer is currently underway for two weeks,” he said.

Musthafa summed up his session by once again insisting on using common sense. “Use common sense to solve century-old problems. Don’t complicate. Be the change that you wish to see in the world. First trust the people and then they will trust you back,” concluded the CEO. For more updates, be socially connected with us on
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