Tragic case: VG Siddhartha, owner of Cafe Coffee Day missing; calls himself 'failed entrepreneur' in letter - 5 key facts

ZeeBiz WebTeam | Jul 30, 2019, 01:48 PM IST

The owner of popular Cafe Coffee Day outlets, VG Siddhartha, who is also one of the largest exporters of coffee in India, has gone missing from near river Netravati since Monday evening. Born in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, VG Siddhartha's family has been in the business of coffee plantation for around 140 years. Siddhartha's firm Amalgamated Bean Company is one of India’s largest exporters of coffee. He also has several other businesses in the technology and the hospitality sectors. Notably, Siddhartha has as many as 60,000 coffee vending machines in India as well as in some foreign countries.

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1. Siddhartha started his career with JM Financial Limited in 1983-1984 in Mumbai as a management trainee/intern in Portfolio Management and securities trading, after earning Masters from the Mangalore University. After working there for two years, he returned to Bangalore and bought a stock market card for Rs 30,000, along with a company called Sivan Securities, which was renamed in 2000 as Way2wealth Securities Ltd. By 1985, he owned 10,000 acres of coffee farms and reportedly doubled the money he had invested in plantations after the liberalisation of coffee trading in the 90s. Image source: IANS

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2. In March 2019, Siddhartha has garnered about Rs 3,200 crore by selling the 20.32% stake held by him and two CCD affiliate firms in software firm Mindtree Ltd to Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T). The deal has reportedly helped him repay his debt of about Rs 2,900 crore, and vastly improved his financial condition. Notably, CCD had run into losses of Rs 7,000 crore. Image source: Twitter

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3. In an alleged case of tax evasion in September 2017, raids were conducted at over 20 locations in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Chikmagalur by the IT departments of Karnataka and Goa. Sleuths with the I-T department had stated that Siddhartha had previously concealed income exceeding Rs 650 crore.  Image source: Reuters

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4. Cafe Coffee Day has 1,752 outlets across India as of March 2019. Coffee Day Enterprises clocked revenue of Rs 1,777 crore and Rs 1,814 crore in FY18-19 respectively. The company is reportedly eyeing revenue of Rs 2,250 crore by March 2020. Image source: Reuters

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5. A letter written by VG Siddhartha addressed to the Board of Directors of the Cafe Coffee Day family has surfaced, saying "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." He further added, "My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody, I have failed as an entrepreneur. This is my sincere submission, I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me." Image source: Forbes India