What Drove Cafe Coffee Day Owner Over The Edge?

What Drove Cafe Coffee Day Owner Over The Edge? - Sakshi Post

The reported suicide of VG Siddhartha, the Cafe Coffee Day owner who jumped off a bridge into the Netravati river near Mangalore to his death about two days ago, has raised several disturbing questions. His body was found by the river 5 kms from the bridge, on Wednesday The most frequently asked one is what drove the CCD owner over the edge? VG Siddhartha's rise as an entrepreneur coffee baron was cited as an example of wealth creation and success of a start-up. The letter allegedly written by him before his suicide, mirrors the state of a broken man, quite different from the halo which surrounded his success. The Cafe Coffee Day founder, who came from a family of coffee planters, gave the coffee business a corporate edge. VG Siddhartha could successfully integrate operations from coffee growing to retailing chains. The company owned close to 1800 outlets in 6 countries.

VG Siddhartha was also under tremendous pressure from private equity firms, as also tax authorities, as per his letter. While the Congress was quick to blame the Centre for unleashing central agencies against political rivals, the Income Tax authorities denied any harassment. Tax officials are reported to have said that the Cafe Coffee Day owner had in fact, admitted to stashing black money.

CCD was listed on both NSE and NSE and was backed by premier private equity companies such as Standard Chartered PE, KKR and New Silk Route. VG Siddhartha held the biggest stake in Mindtree and pulled off a major deal with L&T. Siddhartha's letter attributed his woes with the tax officials to this deal, to some extent. The Cafe Coffee Day ended up pledging more than 70% of his shares in the holding company to surmount the losses. The total debt of the Coffee Day founder is said to be in the range of Rs. 10,000 crore.

Some of the questions VG Siddhartha's death relate to the relationship between and start-ups. Similarly, the role of taxmen and central agencies also comes under the scanner.

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