Starting as a family-run business making idli and dosa batter, iD Fresh now sells 55,000 kg batter each day in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and even Dubai.Sindhu Kashyap
In its first ever press conference, fresh food brand iD Fresh announced its entire range of products will soon be organic. Co-founder PC Musthafa called it iD Fresh 2.0.
Starting now, the company will introduce a range of organic idli and dosa batter, wheat and oats dosa batter, rice rava idli batter, ragi idli and dosa batter, and Malabar and wheat parota in the Bengaluru market. Slowly, the brand will move to a completely organic range.
For the founders, the shift is personal as well. Musthafa said, “I have lost way too many family members to different lifestyle diseases, and even cancer,” adding the team always believed that food should be fresh and preservative free.
Musthafa explained the shift had to be now as it was time to go back to their roots - and be completely traditional and organic. He added,
“This is not just a launch of new products. Our entire range and supply chain is going organic. It has been in the works for close to three years now. We have tied up with three vendors, who work with over 1,000 farmers.”
One of the reasons why organic food hasn’t been able to scale is that organic farming is a tough proposition. To be labelled ‘organic’, a farm must not use any form of chemical on its land for three years.
Another challenge in organic farming is the lower yield. Musthafa says that their vendors worked with the farmers for this period to help them with the process. “We are making earnest efforts to go back to our organic roots and embrace the goodness of nutritious food, while cutting down on our carbon footprint.”
iD Fresh was launched in December 2005 by Musthafa and his cousins, Shamsudeen TK, Abdul Nazer, Jafar TK, and Noushad TA. The team began by making idli and dosa batter from a 50 square feet kitchen in Tippasandra, Bengaluru.
Starting up with only Rs 25,000, they invested in mixers and grinders. They initially thought it would take them six months to reach their target of selling to 20 stores across the city, but it took nine.
As of this fiscal, the team claims to have a revenue of Rs 210 crore, and is aiming to have a revenue of Rs 350 crore in FY20.
At present, iD Fresh claims to sell 55,000 kg of idli and dosa batter every day. It has five factories - two in Bengaluru, one each in Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Dubai. It is also starting factories in Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata.
The company has raised funding from Helion Ventures and Premji Investment. “We have been profitable from the first month of operations,” said Musthafa.
Unique marketing strategies also played a role in iD Fresh’s growth. A case in point would be the company's vada maker video that went viral, believed to have leaked before Musthafa's presentation to Harvard.
The ready-to-cook market was pegged at Rs 275 crore last year, and the breakfast segment is believed to be growing at 17 percent. Players in the space include Bengaluru-based MTR foods and Gits. Giants like Nestle, Bambino, and Kohinoor foods are also present in the market.
A 2018 ASSOCHAM and EY report published said the organic products market is said to touch Rs 12,000 crore by 2020.
“With this shift, we aim to make organic food products mainstream in India,” said Musthafa.