This is the story of a man who failed in Class 6 but wen on to join the Regional Engineering College Calicut and the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore.
Mustafa grew up in Chennalode, a remote village in Kerala’s Wayanad district, and is the son of a daily wager. His village neither had electricity nor roads. At the age of 10, Mustafa decided he wanted to become an entrepreneur.
“Since my family lived on the meagre earnings of my father who slogged as a daily wager, getting pocket money was a distant dream for me. So, during the summer holidays I borrowed Rs 100 from my uncle and set up a make-shift mithai shop (which sold chocolates and sweets) in our village,” said Mustafa. Earnings from his mithai shop gave him decent returns and he did not have to worry much about his pocket money anymore. After school and during weekends, Mustafa helped his father in his job as a kid.
After Mustafa finished his engineering course, he worked in several places. Starting off by getting a salary of Rs 6,000 per month at a start-up in Bengaluru, it crossed Rs 1 lakh when he shifted to Citibank, Dubai. “I sent my first month’s salary of Rs 1.3 lakh to my father through a friend of mine to clear all his debts,” he said. He soon presented his parents with a house in his village, and his father got his three sisters married. Mustafa got married in 2000 and has three sons now. Through a series of events, Mustafa went on to study at IIMB and started an enterprise that sold idly and dosa batter along with his cousins while pursuing his MBA. His company, iD Fresh Food, which in 2005 made 10 packets of one kilogram batter a day, today manufactures 50,000 packets a day and a team of 1,300 employees works in Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Dubai, at their units.