VG Siddhartha, the founder of India’s largest Coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day who also owns Asia’s single-largest coffee estate, is missing since Monday evening. In a letter reportedly written by Siddhartha to the board of directors and his CCD family before he went missing, he said he had “failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts”. He added, “I would like to say I gave it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me. 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….”
According to reports, Siddhartha got off from his car near a bridge across the Nethravathi River near Mangalore, about 375km from Bengaluru, but did not return even after an hour. A panicked driver went down looking for him, but could not find him anywhere. He then alerted the family members who in turn informed the police.
The Dakshina Kannada police have launched a massive search for him. According to his driver, Siddhartha, known as the Coffee King of India, was talking to someone on his mobile phone when he got off from the car near Kotekar.
The news of Siddhartha’s disappearance has spread like wildfire across Karnataka and hundreds of his relatives and friends have gathered at his father-in-law and former Karnataka CM SM Krishna’s house in Bengaluru.
Siddhartha is married to SM Krishna’s first daughter Malavika. They have two sons. Besides Cafe Coffee Day, Siddhartha has founded a hospitality chain which runs a seven-star resort Serai and Cicada.
Siddhartha is from a coffee growing family in Chickmagalur district and made it big through his vision and hard work.
He first founded Cafe Coffee Day in mid 1990s on Brigade Road which has now become an international brand. He recently sold his stakes in a software company Mindtree for about Rs 3,000 crore. He was recently in the news for being in talks with Coca-Cola to sell CCD.
His chain of companies employ over 30,000 people across India.