Meet P.C. Musthafa of iD foods: The breakfast king

Nice piece profiling PC Musthafa of ID foods.

He wants to make idlis and dosas staple breakfasts for the whole country. They have even come up with a special way to make vadas.

Midway through our conversation, as we discuss the popularity of new-ish food trends (like the ultra-low-carb keto diet), P.C. Musthafa takes out a steel dabba from his bag. Nestled inside the shiny square box are four idlis, perfectly round and puffed up like new pillows. “The most nutritious food in the world,” says Musthafa, CEO and co-founder of iD Fresh Food, with a flourish. “I can have idlis for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

It can’t be denied that idlis are healthy. Made from parboiled rice and uraddal with a pinch of methi (fenugreek) added to the batter, which is fermented overnight, idlis are steamed, not fried. Each idli delivers a mere 40 calories with approximately 2g protein and 2g fibre for 8g carbohydrates, with zero saturated fats and cholesterol.

Musthafa wants to convert all Indians (potentially, the entire world) to an idli-dosa breakfast—of course, made using his company’s zero-preservative batter. The company is setting up four world-class plants in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Dubai, with the 5.5 acre Bengaluru plant set to open in January, and the others later in the year. It will be able to process 200,000kg of iD’s signature idli-dosa batter every day—enough to make five million idlis. But is there enough demand for that many idlis in Bengaluru? Musthafa does the math quickly: “The population of Bengaluru is 12 million, of which say 80%, or 10 million, people eat idli and dosa every day. That’s easily over 20 million idlis per day (with a per capita consumption of 15 idlis per week). That’s the opportunity.” Supply creates demand, he believes. “When we started, the market for ready-made batter was 300kg per day. Today, it is 40,000kg per day in Bengaluru alone,” he says.

The piece discusses his humble origins where getting any food for bfast was seen as good enough. Now, he has risen to a position to change the bfast habits of Indians.

He is also a cool CEO who gives his email id in the article in case someone has idea to minimise plastic usage:

His current obsession is finding a replacement for plastic containers used to package iD’s products. “I have an appeal for your readers,” he says. “If you have a solution to replace plastic—a practical, workable solution—please write to me. If it sounds like a good idea, we will invite you to collaborate with us.”

…..So if you want “the world’s best breakfast” without adding to the world’s plastic burden, you could write to pc@idfreshfood.com.

Makes it more special as I share the same alma mater.

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