VG Siddhartha: Story of India’s ‘Coffee King’ & His CCD Empire

VG Siddhartha: Story of India’s ‘Coffee King’ & His CCD Empire

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VG Siddhartha, the 'King' of India's largest coffee empire was found dead in Netravati river in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka after 36 hours of intense search, on Wednesday, 31 July.

While the world mourns the loss of an eminent businessman like him, here's a brief account of VG Siddhartha’s life.

The Early Years

The owner and founder of India's popular Cafe Coffee Day chain and son-in-law of former Karnataka CM SM Krishna was born into a family with a 135-year history of growing coffee.

A postgraduate in economics from Mangalore University, Siddhartha worked in an investment management firm called JM Financial Services before entering the coffee industry.

Cafe Coffee Day – The Beginning

In 1993, Siddhartha established Amalgamated Bean Company (ABC) and began to supply coffee beans to a German coffee retailer, Tchibo.

Very soon, he opened the first CCD outlet in Bengaluru in 1996 with a tagline 'A Lot Can Happen Over Coffee.'

The cafe soon became a big hit.

And today there are over 1,500 Cafe Coffee Day outlets in 209 cities across the country.

Not limiting himself to just the coffee business, Siddhartha ventured into other industries as well. He was a board member of several other companies like Mindtree, Gtv, Liqwid Krystal, Way2wealth and Ittiam.

The Tax Evasion Controversy

Siddhartha's life took a turn when the income tax department raided his house and offices across 20 cities in September 2017 over alleged irregularities in software company Mindtree.

In January 2019, the I-T department imposed restrictions on transfer of shares to Mindtree by him or his company Coffee Day Enterprises for six months, citing possible future tax demands on him.

Two months later, he sold his 20.41 percent stake in Mindtree and paid his debt worth Rs 2,900 crore.

Friends Bid Adieu to Siddhartha

On 29 July, Siddhartha went missing after being last seen on Ullal bridge over Netravati river in Mangaluru.

In a letter allegedly written by him to CCD staff and family he talked about tax troubles. The letter has now led to a debate on 'tax terrorism'.

Eminent personalities from all walks of life expressed grief over the tycoon's demise.

Cafe Coffee Day outlets across the country were shut to pay respect to the tycoon.

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