Founder and owner of popular chain Cafe Coffee Day (CCD), VG Siddhartha is the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna. A popular businessman, he went missing from Mangaluru since Monday night. Siddhartha was on a business trip to Chickmagaluru and was last seen near Ullal bridge over the Netravati river on Monday evening.
VG Siddhartha was born in Malenadu region of Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru district. He did his master’s degree in economics from Mangalore University. He was married to Krishna’s daughter Malavika. He is credited with creating India’s largest coffee empire.
Siddhartha started his career at the age of 24, in 1983-84, when he joined J M Financial Limited in Mumbai as a management trainee/intern in Portfolio Management and securities trading on the Indian Stock Market under Vice-Chairman Mahendra Kampani.
After two years with JM Financial Limited, VG Siddhartha returned to Bangalore. His father gave him money to start a business of his choice. VG Siddhartha bought a stock market card for Rs 30,000, along with a company called Sivan Securities, which was renamed in 2000 as Way2wealth Securities Ltd. Its venture capital division came to be known as Global Technology Ventures (GTV).
Almost 15 years later, Siddhartha started a coffee business in the state. He is known to grow coffee in Chikmagalur and exports about 28,000 tonnes of coffee annually and sells another 2,000 tonnes locally for about Rs 350 million each year. Amalgamated Bean Company (ABC), Siddhartha’s coffee growing and trading company which started in 1992 with a turnover of Rs 60 million, has an annual turnover of Rs 25 billion.
The businessman, who owns 12,000 acres (4047 ha) of coffee plantations, has now 200 exclusive retail outlets selling his brand of Coffee Day powder all over South India. ABC is India’s largest exporter of green coffee.
Siddhartha became the first entrepreneur in Karnataka to set up a café in 1996 — CCD, which has now become India’s largest and premier retail chain of cafes with 1,423 cafes in 209 cities/towns. CCD is India’s largest coffee chain and is owned by Coffee Day Global which is a subsidiary of Coffee Day Enterprises. Today, CCD has around 1,700 cafes, around 48,000 vending machines, 532 kiosks and 403 ground coffee selling outlets.
On September 21, the Income Tax department had raided the offices and house of Siddhartha among 20 locations across the country including Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Chikkamagaluru.