In a shocking turn of events, the owner of Cafe Coffee Day, VG Siddhartha, has gone missing since Monday evening. The business tycoon, who also owns Asia's largest estate, went missing from the bridge of the Nethravathi river near Mangalore, where he had got down from the car to take a walk, according to a driver who last saw him. The police are suspecting an attempt to commit suicide as the CCD business has reportedly gone into a loss of Rs 700 crore. The mogul is also known as the son in law of SM Krishna, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Minister for External Affairs and Governor of Maharashtra. He along with his wife Malavika Krishna jointly own 57% of the shares in Coffee Day. They have two children Ishan and Amartya.
Also, a letter that the entrepreneur had written to the board of directors has surfaced, where the language is making it seem like a suicide note."I fought for a long time but today I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago borrowing a large sum of money from a friend," wrote Siddhartha in the letter. The government of Karnataka has deployed over 200 policemen and divers for a search mission over the river.
VG Siddhartha, the son of a coffee-plantation owner, started with a masters degree from Mangalore University and as a trader in the Indian stock market under JM Financial in 1983. The entrepreneur, who initially wanted to join NDA but was rejected, used his trading skills to acquire Sivan Securities in 1984 and turned it into a highly successful stockbroking company. His father, a wealthy plantation owner had given him money to pursue stockbroking in Mumbai, where he worked under the tutelage of Mahendrabhai Kampani.
It was only in 1992 that he first stepped into the business of coffee with Amalgamated Bean Company Trading, now called Coffee Day Global. He opened India's first coffee-based cafe, Cafe Coffee day in Bangalore in 1996. CCD was not the only company he had his trade on. After a smart decision to invest in a small percentage of shares in Mindtree, the mogul, over the years accumulated over 20% of shares over Mindtree. His other businesses include Coffee Day Hotel and Resorts, SICAL Logistics and Tanglin Developments. Cafe Coffe Day earned him the title of Coffee King of India and the company had clocked in revenue of Rs 1,814 crore in the financial year of 2019. Internationally, CCD branches are available in Nepal, Egypt, Vienna, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic.
In an interview done with Outlook magazine, Siddhartha had said that his dream was to make CCD one of the top 3 coffee brands of the world. He had revealed that when Starbucks was coming to India he used to have sleepless nights. A firm believer in 'no risk no reward', he also said that creating the CCD brand was the most important decision of his life. Siddhartha felt most at bliss walking through his coffee plantation. He also credited his father and his mentor Mahendrabhai Kampani most for his success.
Unfortunately, the mogul blamed himself for CCD's massive loss. He wrote in the letter that he never meant to cheat people. He also took the blame for 'failing to create a profitable business model'. The letter initially looked like a letter of resignation as he had asked the board members to run the company with new management.
Here are some of the Twitter reactions to VG Siddhartha's disappearance:
Siddhartha on Monday asked his driver to drive him to Mangalore. He stopped the car at the foot of the bridge and instructed Basavraj Patel, his driver to drive a little far away and wait for him to take a walk. After the tycoon did not return for an hour, the driver panicked and informed the family, who in turn alerted the police. Read More