Coffee sans Siddhartha will not taste the same

VG Siddhartha Cafe Coffee Day CCD Missing - The Federal
What started as a vision to pioneer café culture in a fast-changing India post economic liberalisation, soon snowballed into CCD becoming the largest café chain in the country. Illustration: Eunice Dhivya.

July 30, 2019, began like any other day. In Bengaluru, the balmy weather forced people to reluctantly get out of bed for the morning cuppa. And then the news hit the eye, rather, made a splash in their coffee. The founder of Café Coffee Day VG Siddhartha was missing. While many rubbed their eyes in disbelief and sipped the hot coffee, wondering whether it was the customary fake news on social media, it soon became clear that the news was the unvarnished truth, as bitter as a strong cup of coffee, the kind you would get in CCD.

Twenty-four hours later,  news filtered that the 59-year-old Siddhartha’s body had been found in the Nethravathi river off Mangaluru in coastal Karnataka.  Presumably a suicide.  His letter to the CCD staff that has gone viral, states that he was giving up after a hard fight. But the last line where he says that the company’s assets can be sold to clear the liabilities is throwing up questions, like why should he commit suicide if that was the case? He could have sold the assets and lived to see another day. With the police investigating, it will be a matter of time before the truth is out.

But Siddhartha? There are industrialists and industrialists, but only a few are innovators and pioneers. He was clearly a pioneer.


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