V.G. Siddhartha – The Coffee King of India

V.G. Siddhartha is the former Chairman Managing Director of famous Coffee chain outlet series Cafe Coffee Day which is popularly known as the CCD among the youths.

 

Full Name: V.G. Siddhartha
Spouse: Malavika Krishna (daughter of former Karnataka CM, S M Krishna)
Born: Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka, India
Residence : Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Nationality: Indian
Education: Master’s degree in economics from Mangalore University
Chairman & Managing Director: Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd. (CCD)
Board Member: Way2wealth Brokers Pvt Ltd and Coffee Day Natural Resources Pvt. Ltd.
Total Assets (Tentative): US$27.43 cr from CCD and US$8.57 lac from Sical Logistics Ltd

About Cafe Coffee Day (CCD)
Café Coffee Day, a part of Coffee Day Global Limited, is India’s favourite outlet for coffee and conversations. The first shop of coffee day was opened in the 1996 at Brigade Road in Bangalore.

As of now the CCD has has 1550 Coffee Day Cafes spread in 209 cities/towns of India. worth to mention that CCD attract at least 40,000 to 50,000 visitors a week. CCD is the largest coffee estate in Asia.

In addition to the CCD; Siddhartha owns 12,000 acres (4047 ha) of coffee plantations.

As per some news he has been trapped in huge debt incurred from losses.

During his college days, he had joined the NCC. He wanted to be in the Indian Army.

After completing his studies, his father wanted him to join the family business, but, he wanted to do something of his own.

He travelled to Mumbai and joined the financial firm, “JM Financial Limited” in 1983 as a management trainee.

He was very close to the Vice Chairman of the company, Mahendra Kampani, and he used to call him Mahendrabhai. He learnt a lot of things from him and used to consider him his idol.

While he was working in JM Financial, he used his earnings to buy coffee plantations. When he quit his job, he had around 3,000 acres of coffee plantations to his name.

He worked at JM Financial for 2 years and then returned to Bangalore to start his firm.

He returned home and asked his father for the capital to start his firm. His father gave him 7.5 Lacs INR, and said- “When you lose it, you can come home”. Siddhartha made up his mind that he will not lose the money.

He bought a plot for 5 Lacs INR as his security. He rented an office and started his financial security firm, Sivan Securities, with the rest of the money. His firm was later renamed as Way2Wealth Securities.

In 1994, he bought an ailing coffee curing unit in Hassan, Karnataka and named it- “Amalgamated Bean Company”. He soon opened retail stores all over Bangalore, which used to sell coffee powder from his estates.

He also used to export coffee to different parts of the world, especially Brazil. By the end of 1995, his company, Amalgamated Bean Company, became India’s largest exporter of coffee.

In 1995, he had a meeting with the owner of a German Coffee company, Tchibo. The owner, Herz, told him the story about how his company became the second-largest company in Europe in just 5 decades. The story inspired Siddhartha, and by the end of the year, he had opened 450 outlets.

In 1996, he planned to open up coffee cafes in Bangalore. He pitched the idea of a cafe to his business partner and his wife. They dismissed his idea; as he wanted to charge 25 INR per cup when coffee was available at 5 INR per cup.

In 1996, the internet was still new to India. The youth was curious about the internet and the internet cafes used to charge 100 INR per hour. He had an idea of opening a cafe where you can have coffee and browse on the internet at the same time and it would also justify the 25 INR price.

Siddhartha opened the first Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) in 1996 at Brigade Road in Bangalore. By the end of 2000, he rolled out 22 cafes in South India, and by the end of 2007, there were more than 200 CCD stores across India.

As of July 2019, there are more than 1843 CCD outlets in six countries.

On 29 July 2019, VG Siddhartha went missing. He was travelling from Bengaluru to Sakleshpur with his driver. While they were on their way, he suddenly asked his driver to head towards Mangaluru. As they approached a bridge near Mangaluru, he asked his driver to stop the car. Siddhartha got out of his car, and he asked his driver to drive to the end of the bridge and wait for him there.

Siddhartha’s driver waited for him to return for an hour, but, then he got worried and called him. His phone was switched off, so, he called his son and informed him, and then after searching for him for a while, he went to the nearest police station and filed an FIR.

On 30 July 2019, police began search operations near the bridge and in the Netravati River. On 31 July 2019, at 7:43 in the morning, the Mangaluru Police Commissioner, Sandeep Patil stated that a body resembling VG Siddhartha was found and it was being taken to the Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru for post mortem and identification by the family.

His body was identified by his family, and he was then taken to Chikmagalur.

His mortal remains were kept at the company’s office in Chikmaglur for anyone who wished to pay their last respects to VG Siddhartha.

To honour his death, all the outlets of Cafe Coffee Day were shut down on 31 July 2019.

VG Siddhartha’s body was cremated at his father’s coffee estate in Belur Taluk, Karnataka. His family took this decision taking into consideration that this is where his journey as an entrepreneur began.

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