Startup is something which has always been tricky. Even when you think you are putting in your best, it might not be the same what you thought it would be. The truth is, most people fail. But don’t give up on your dreams just yet. If you really believe that you have something amazing to share with the world, go for it. Don’t be discouraged by the number of times you have tried and failed, but be inspired by the number of people who have failed and bounced back as successful entrepreneurs. Ask any big shot entrepreneur and he’ll pop out all the reasons why you must absolutely start a company right away. The best example to explain the above lines would be P C Mustafa.
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.”
– John Wooden.
This is the man who failed in class 6, topped in class 10 and went to join National Institute of Technology, Calicut and later Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The 42-year-old from Kerala is the son of that mother who has never been a part of school and that father who was a coolie. P C Mustafa belongs to a small village called Chennalode near Kalpatta in Wayanad.
“The village was so remote that we had only a primary school. It had no roads or electricity. We had to walk at least four kilometers to go to high school so most of the kids dropped out after primary school” – P C Mustafa
The village deprived of almost everything, not surprisingly had only one primary school which could be accessed only after walking for kilometers. This was the main reason why most of the kids dropped out of school. P C Mustafa is the eldest child in his family and has three younger sisters. As any other young student, he was not interested in studies and despite going to school every day, he used to help his father, a daily wage worker. Lack of supply of electricity contributed towards ruling out the studies at night and kerosene lamps were the only lender of last resort.
“I was weak in English and Hindi but good in mathematics and with sir’s help I stood first in class 10. Then I had only one ambition, to become a teacher like Mathew sir, who was my idol”– P C Mustafa says.
After failing in 6th standard he got the second chance of studying and then never looked back again. The support, inspiration and motivation from his school teacher and his friends are the factors that deserve the credit for making him a successful entrepreneur. Also his hard work, potential and ambition to become successful provided the adequate platform to showcase his strength.
P C Mustafa never skipped the opportunities he got. His decision to leave his high paid job for further studies was surely a beginning of his successful journey. His life changing decision to become an entrepreneur not only benefited him but also other youngsters from rural India who were given employment in his company.
He always got full support and motivation from his wife and cousins. During further studies, his passion to start new business grew to greater heights. Shamsuddin, one of Mustafa’s cousins, had seen dosa batter being sold in plastic bags tied with a rubber band in nearby stores and suggested that they make and supply dosa batter. Mustafa readily agreed to that and decided to invest Rs 25,000 and start a company immediately.
“We became an Rs 1 billion company in October 2015” says P C Musfata with a wide smile on his face. Presently, our revenue is close to Rs 1.2 billion and we are growing. We have grown from producing 10 packets of idli, dosa batter a day in 2005, with just my cousin managing the kitchen, to 50,000 packets a day with 1,100 employees in 10 years.”
His company’s prime concern is to constantly maintain the quality of the product and to serve the right product in the right city at the right time.
Today, fresh idli and dosa made by P C Mustafa’s company ID Fresh reaches not only homes in the cities of more than 8 Indian states but is also exported internationally including Dubai.
“There were three reasons for the decision. I wanted to come back and spend time with my parents. I wanted to study further. Though I had a very good GATE score, I couldn’t study after my engineering due to financial constraints. After working for a few years, I decided to study business administration. The third reason was that I wanted to give something back to society”– says P C Mustafa.
“When we became a company worth Rs 100 crore in October, we celebrated in grand scale. We have grown from producing 10 packets a day in 2005, with just my cousin managing the kitchen, to 50,000 packets a day with 1,100 employees in 10 years.”
Today with the batter, the company sells 40,000 chapatis, 200,000 parathas and 2,000 packets of tomato and coriander chutney a day. “It is a daily requirement for millions, but preparing it at home is not only time consuming, but also a hassle in modern life” said P C Mustafa, who is now expanding into other Middle East cities.
The long journey from a boy in a remote village to that of an entrepreneur is surely one of its kinds. “It has been a tough journey, but it has also been the most rewarding and satisfying journey ever”, the entrepreneur says.
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