India's biggest coffee chain, Cafe Coffee Day, founder VG Siddhartha's body was found on Wednesday morning after being reported missing mysteriously since Monday night. His body was recovered from Netravati river after 36 hours of search operations conducted by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Coast Guard, Home Guard, fire services and coastal police.
The body was recovered by a group of fishermen from the Netravati river, near Hoige Bazaar beach in Mangaluru. The spot from where the body was recovered, was reportedly some distance away from the bridge he was seen on last.
Siddhartha, also the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader SM Krishna, was last seen near the bridge in the Kotepura area in Dakshina Kannada district on Monday night, police said.
A letter written by the CCD founder, which surfaced hours after he went missing on Monday night, said that he was under "tremendous pressure" from lenders where he had stated that he fought for a long time but "today, I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend".
Many entrepreneurs, industry experts and politicians took to social media to offer condolences over his "untimely" death.
Reacting to the demise of Siddhartha, fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya empathised with Siddhartha's letter saying that Indian 'government and banks can drive anyone to despair'. He gave his own example and called Indian financial institutions as 'vicious and unrelenting'.
I am indirectly related to VG Siddhartha. Excellent human and brilliant entrepreneur. I am devastated with the contents of his letter. The Govt Agencies and Banks can drive anyone to despair. See what they are doing to me despite offer of full repayment. Vicious and unrelenting.
— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) July 30, 2019
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson and MD of Biocon said, "It is a tragic end to a great success story. It is really hard to imagine someone who created India's Starbucks can take his own life."
VG Siddhartha's story is a tragic end to a great success story, says @kiranshaw, Chairperson & MD of @Bioconlimited on the @CafeCoffeeDay founder, VG Siddhartha who is missing since last evening. @ShereenBhan #VGSiddhartha #CCD #CafeCoffeeDay pic.twitter.com/CYSgLMuHAR
— CNBC-TV18 News (@CNBCTV18News) July 30, 2019
Kunal Bahl, co-founder and CEO of the e-commerce platform Snapdeal called Siddhartha 'an absolute gentleman' and said that he will always see his legacy as a very successful entrepreneur.
So heartbreaking. Had met him a few times - an absolute gentleman. How can someone get pushed so far to the edge in business, that they decide to take a fall themselves. I will always see his legacy as a very successful entrepreneur who brought coffee in our lives. My prayers 🙏🏼 https://t.co/bXHh2vyKmW
— Kunal Bahl (@1kunalbahl) July 30, 2019
Anand Gopal Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group pointed out the importance of not letting business failures affect the self-esteem of entrepreneurs in his tweet.
I did not know him & have no knowledge of his financial circumstances. I only know that entrepreneurs must not allow business failure to destroy their self-esteem. That will bring about the death of entrepreneurship. https://t.co/H4ysr8Ov3U
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) July 30, 2019
Political parties and politicians also took to Twitter to offer condolences.
Karnataka Congress slammed the ruling BJP and blamed the party for creating an atmosphere not conducive for growing businesses. Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah remembered Siddhartha's contribution to the state and the country.
#VGSiddhartha case is very unfortunate.
Result of harassment by IT officials & decline of India’s entrepreneurial position turning virulent by the day, with Tax Terror & collapse of economy
Companies which flourished under UPA have been shut down with many people being jobless pic.twitter.com/rbwUymoM3B
— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) July 31, 2019
Very sad to know about the unfortunate death of Shri. V G Siddhartha. His contribution to Karnataka & India through his entrepreneurship shall be an example & always be remembered.
My deepest condolences to Shri. S M Krishna and family members & well-wishers of Siddhartha.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) July 31, 2019
While Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi accused prime minister Narendra Modi of betraying the people who voted for an independent and hassle-free economy. Singhvi also alleged that "Since his re-election, Modi has tried majoritarianism, minoritarianism, Kashmir, Pakistan, Muslim women, Ram and even Man vs Wild to divert the attention of the people. From what exactly? Failing economy, rising unemployment, failing infra, farmers dying, failing law and order," he said in another tweet.
There is an old notion of government has no business in business & Modi in his pre 2014 election campaign made a big deal about it. Today he has absolutely betrayed the people who voted for him to see a robust, independent, hassle free economy.
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) July 31, 2019
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted that Siddhartha's death reflected a "worrying trend".
"Ease of Doing Business" under BJP translates into "Ease of Ending Business". The #VGSiddhartha tragedy reflects the worst of a broader, deeply worrying trend: https://t.co/9aeN6930Hk https://t.co/52ZmK3toDj
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 31, 2019
The BJP unit in Karnataka hit back at the Congress over criticism over Siddhartha's death. The saffron party appealed for "humanity".
Opportunistic political vultures flocking in full force totally disconnected from the emotions of family members of #VGSiddhartha
Investigation will reveal the facts behind this tragic incident.
Until then respect the sentiment of masses & display some humanity if left with any https://t.co/X37Ef71jh9
— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) July 31, 2019
Karnataka chief minister and state president of BJP BS Yediyurappa expressed shock and paid heartfelt condolences on his death. "My heart goes with the bereaved family and may God rest his soul in peace," he said in a tweet.
ಮಾಜಿ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ಶ್ರೀ ಎಸ್.ಎಂ.ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಅವರ ಅಳಿಯ ಕೆಫೆ ಕಾಫಿ ಡೇ ಸಂಸ್ಥಾಪಕ ಹಾಗೂ ಉದ್ಯಮಿ ಸಿದ್ದಾರ್ಥ್ ಅವರ ಸಾವು ತೀವ್ರ ಆಘಾತ ಹಾಗೂ ಅಪಾರ ನೋವು ತಂದಿದೆ. ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬಕ್ಕೆ ದುಃಖ ಸಹಿಸುವ ಶಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಭಗವಂತ ಕರುಣಿಸಲಿ. ಅವರ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಂತಿ ಸಿಗಲಿ. #OmShanti pic.twitter.com/313VJ9lQ4F
— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) July 31, 2019
Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao, commonly known as KTR, working president of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) expressed shocked over his death.
Saddened & shocked at the way #VGSiddhartha ended his life. Had an opportunity to meet him briefly a few years ago; found him affable & gentle. RIP
Hope his family & friends at CCD find strength in this difficult time
— KTR (@KTRTRS) July 31, 2019
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta called Siddhartha's demise as the result of 'disease of doing business in India'.
#VGSiddhartha Sad end. Succumbed to disease of doing business in India.
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) July 31, 2019
Indian cricket commentator and journalist, Harsha Bhogle, wished the company well and said that he would remain a loyal customer to the franchise.
Still can't get over why a successful entrepreneur should commit suicide. I do hope we find the real answer and not one that is easy to give. #VGSiddhartha. I wish #CafeCoffeeDay well and I will remain a customer.(#CCD reference unsolicited)
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 31, 2019
Several people on Twitter also spoke about how some of their fondest days and dates were spent in Cafe Coffee Day, one of the very first coffee chains to have started in India.
Be it hanging out with friends and family, or a wish for something more refined than regular tea, CCD was the go-to place for many.
"All that glitters is not gold"
— सुजीत (@sujitsingh_) July 31, 2019
— deepmahan (@deepmahan) July 31, 2019
Your tagline truly defined you sir ' A lot can happen over coffee' Have spent n number of days sipping ur latte and making memories' There was a day I had only couple of hours to make my gf birthday special, with Ur staff at help made it forever memory in CCD. RIP #VGSiddhartha
— CrimeMasterGogo (@pawanrai87) July 31, 2019
Like many couples in India over the last decade, Geeth and I spent time at several CCD outlets when we first started dating. A lot can happen over coffee, and we have #VGSiddhartha and his vision to thank for that.
My thoughts are with his family in this terrible time.
— Geetanjali Chitnis (@geetanjalic) July 31, 2019
The first time I saw #CCD was when I was in college, as this shiny wow place to hang out with friends.Everything so fascinating, the ambience, the coffee with Latte Art. Thank you #VGSiddhartha for giving us that little celebrated space that we all love , for sipping coffee — Saurabh Khandelwal (@saurabhkhandel) July 31, 2019
— Rakesh (@rakesh_k_sharma) July 30, 2019
Updated Date: Jul 31, 2019 15:52:28 IST