V. G. Siddhartha
Veerappa Gangaiah Siddhartha Hegde (1959 – July 2019) was an Indian businessman from Karnataka. He was the founder of the cafe chain Café Coffee Day and served as its chairman and managing director. He also served on the board of directors of Mindtree, GTV, Liqwid Krystal, Way2wealth Brokers, Coffee Day Natural Resources, and Way2wealth Securities.
V. G. Siddhartha
Veerappa Gangaiah Siddhartha Hegde
|Died|| (aged 60)|
Mangaluru, Karnataka, India
|Cause of death||Suicide|
|Resting place||Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka, India|
|Residence||Bengaluru, Karnataka, India|
|Alma mater||St. Aloysius Mangalore|
|Title||Chairman & Managing Director, Café Coffee Day|
|Board member of||Mindtree|
Coffee Day Natural Resources
Veerappa Gangaiah Siddhartha Hegde was born in the Malenadu region of Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka State. He received a master's degree in economics from St. Aloysius College and Mangalore University, Karnataka.
At the age of 24, he joined J M Financial Limited in 1983–1984 in Mumbai as a management trainee/intern in portfolio management and securities trading on the Indian stock market. After two years, he returned to Bangalore. With capital given by his father, Siddhartha bought stocks worth Rs. 30,000 and started the company Sivan Securities. In 1999, it was renamed Way2wealth Securities Ltd. Its venture capital division came to be known as Global Technology Ventures (GTV).
He established his coffee trading company ABC in Karnataka 1993, with a Rs 60 million turnover. He bought an ailing coffee curing unit in Hassan for Rs 40 million and improved it. The company now has the largest curing capacity in India at 75,000 tonnes.
He grew coffee in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, exported about 28,000 tonnes of coffee annually, and sold another 2,000 tonnes locally for about Rs 350 million each year. His coffee growing and trading company, Amalgamated Bean Company (ABC), has an annual turnover of Rs 25 billion. Siddhartha had 200 exclusive retail outlets selling his brand of Coffee Day powder in South India. ABC is India's largest exporter of green coffee. He owned 12,000 acres (4047 ha) of coffee plantations.
He was the first entrepreneur in Karnataka to set up a café in 1996 (Café Coffee Day, a chain of "youth hangout" coffee parlors). By 2018, the chain had over 1700 cafés in India. His cafes attract 40,000 to 50,000 visitors a week. Siddhartha also held board seats in GTV, Mindtree, Liqwid Krystal, Way2Wealth, and Ittiam. In 2000, he founded Global Technology Ventures Ltd, a company that identifies, invests in, and mentors Indian companies engaged in technologies. GTV set up Global Village Tech Park on a 59-acre (240,000 m2) plot as an incubator park in Bangalore, providing office space, communication links, recreational facilities, and a commercial centre. In 1999, GTV was valued by BankAm at $100 million.
He planted banana trees on 3,000 acres (1,214 ha) and had plans to export bananas. The Dark Forest Furniture Company is named after V. G. Siddhartha's Kathale Kaad (Dark Forest in Kannada) estate in Chikmagalur. The company's Greenheart, Purpleheart, Wallaba, and Bullet Wood logs are shipped from the Guyanese capital of Georgetown to Mangalore Port and then to the Coffee Day Group's furniture plant in Chikmagalur. The Guyanese government allows cutting of only four full-grown trees from every hectare (approximately 2.5 acres) and when one tree is cut, it is mandatory to replant another to maintain the ecological balance of the Amazon rainforest.
Sical Logistics Ltd, a logistics company founded in India in 1955, was acquired by Coffee Day group in 2011.
On 21 September 2017, a tax raid was conducted at more than 20 of V. G. Siddhartha's locations in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Chikmagalur by senior officers of the Income Tax Department of Karnataka and Goa regions.
Siddhartha was married to Malavika Krishna and had two children. He was the son-in-law of S. M. Krishna, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Indian Minister for External Affairs and Governor of Maharashtra.
On the evening of 29 July 2019, he left his car and driver near a bridge over the Nethravati River in Ullal, Mangalore. The Indian Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force eventually joined a search. A letter, apparently written by Siddhartha and addressed to his company board, shareholders, and family, surfaced a few hours after he went missing.
His body was found at the Hoige Bazaar beach on 31 July around 6:30 am by local fishermen who informed the police. His body was cremated at Chethanahalli coffee estate owned by his family in Chikkamagalur district on 31 July 2019.
A police investigation into his death, reported suicide by drowning as the cause.
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