CCD founder VG Siddhartha found dead on Wednesday morning. He found dead after 36 hours after he went missing from a bridge near Mangaluru in Karnataka. A massive search operation was going on since Monday evening when Mr Siddhartha went missing. VG Siddhartha is the son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna. Mr Siddhartha is survived by his wife Malavika Hegde and two sons.
The body was found by fishermen at the bank of Netravati river near Ullal in Mangaluru at around 6:30 this morning.
“Two fishermen found Siddhartha’s body early this morning about 500 metres away from the road bridge from where he is alleged to have jumped into the river on Monday night,” Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil told media. He said an investigation was underway to determine whether Mr Siddhartha did suicide.
The CCD founder body moved to a hospital in Mangaluru. The police will hand over his body to the relative after completing all the formalities.
“I saw a body floating while I was fishing and then, I informed the police. I participated in the rescue operations with the district administration yesterday as well,” fisherman Rithesh said.
VG Siddhartha was the founder of India’s largest coffee chain Café Coffee Day. According to the police, he was last seen at a bridge near the river. Mr Siddhartha’s driver Basavaraj Patil told the police, they were going to Sakleshpur from Bengaluru in a Toyota Innova – a 220-km drive – when the Mr Siddhrtha asked him to turn towards Mangaluru. As they reached a bridge near Mangaluru, the businessman asked the driver to stop the car and got off. Patil, in the statement, said Mr Siddhartha asked him to drive towards the other end of the bridge and wait there.
Multiple teams of police forces, along with the Coast Guard and the National Disaster Response Force, had been searching for Mr Siddhartha. Police had also used dog squads and inflatable boats and roped in local fishermen to search the river.
Days before CCD Founder went missing, Mr Siddhartha, 60, had reportedly written a letter to board members and employees of Cafe Coffee Day. The letter – accessed by news agency ANI – alleges harassment by an income tax officer and expresses regret for not being able to create “the right profitable business”.
Read the complete letter:
To our Board of directors and Coffee Day family,
After 37 years, with strong commitment to hard work, having directly created 30,000 jobs in technology company where I have been a large shareholder since its founding. I have failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts.
I would like to say I have given it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me. I fought for a long time but today I have given 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. Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me succumbing to the situation. There was a lot of harassment from the previous DG income tax in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taken possession of our Coffee Day shares, although the revised returns have been filed by us. This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch.
I sincerely request each of you to be strong and to continue running these businesses with a new management. I am solely responsible for all mistakes. Every financial transaction is my responsibility. My team, auditors and senior management and totally unaware of all my transactions. The law should hold me and only me accountable, as I have withheld this information from everybody including my family.
My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody. I have failed as an entrepreneur. This is my sincere submission. I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me.
I have enclosed a list of our assets and tentative value of each asset. As seen below our assets outweigh our liabilities and can help repay everybody.