VG Siddhartha, founder-owner of the Indian cafe chain, Cafe Coffee Day was found dead on July 31, 2019, almost two days after he went missing near Netravati river in Mangaluru. The police had launched a major search operation in the river to trace him. Siddhartha had been reported missing from Jappinamogaru, which is very close to Netravathi river and just two to three kilometres from the sea
Son of a coffee estate owner, VG Siddhartha launched Cafe Coffee Day over two decades ago, in 1993 and created a global brand even before Starbucks forayed into India by expanding it into a retail chain that increased the consumption of coffee in a variety of flavours and brews through around 1,752 outlets, 31,000 vending machines and 12,000 corporate accounts
A post-graduate (MCA) in computers from the Mangalore University and a graduate in arts from Mysore University, Siddhartha had set up Coffee Day Global Ltd in order to export coffee beans before foraying into the retail business in different formats across the country
Diversifying into new areas of business such as information technology (IT), real estate and other rewarding verticals, Siddhartha floated a stock-broking firm (Sivan Securities) in the mid-1990s and renamed it as Global Technology Ventures in 2000 before he entered into retailing coffee, sourcing the beans from the sprawling 12,000 acres of his ABC Trading firm coffee estates in the state's coffee-growing districts of Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Kodagu
Siddhartha's wife Malavika Hegde, the elder daughter of S.M. Krishna and a non-executive director in the company, has domain expertise in coffee growing, procurement, processing, exporting and retailing. She has also been operating the company's hospitality business and the Yelnoorkhan Estate in Chikkamagaluru, about 250 km northwest of Bengaluru
Siddhartha, 60, was the eldest son-in-law of S.M. Krishna, former External Affairs Minister in the UPA-II government (2009-2012). Krishna was also Karnataka's Chief Minister between 1999 and 2004
Siddhartha's body was found in Karnataka's Netravathi river by two fishermen. The body was found near Hoige Bazar in trousers but without a shirt. It was identified to be Siddhartha's with a gold ring on his right-hand finger, a watch on his left hand and shoes that he wore when appeared to have jumped off the road bridge.
Besides his family members, VG Siddhartha's funeral was attended by many prominent personalities in the world of politics namely S.M. Krishna, B.S. Yediyurappa, Siddaramaiah, H.D. Kumaraswamy, D.K. Shivakumar, K.J. George, H.K. Patil to name a few.
The dramatic disappearance of India's coffee baron V.G. Siddhartha under mysterious circumstances on Monday night and the subsequent discovery of his body in the backwaters of Netravathi river near Karnataka's Mangaluru coast on early Wednesday sent shock waves in the corporate world. Here's a look at the life and times of the coffee baron V G Siddhartha
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