Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha's body found from river: Report

V G Siddhartha | File photo
The body of Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha has been found from the Nethravathi river, according to TV reports on Wednesday. 

Siddhartha's body was found on the banks of the river near the Hoige Bazaar in Mangaluru, according to news agency ANI.

Siddhartha, the founder of India’s largest coffee chain, went missing on Monday night en route to the coastal Karnataka city of Mangaluru, with a letter purportedly written by him showing he was under "tremendous pressure" from lenders and one of the private equity partners (PEs). The letter also alleged "a lot of harassment" from tax authorities. 

A massive search operation involving teams of the National Disaster Response Force, Coast Guard, Home Guard, fire services and coastal police had continued throughout Tuesday. Search teams had scoured the waters under a bridge across the Nethravathi river near Mangaluru where the 60-year-old businessman was reportedly last seen.

The son of a coffee plantation owner, Siddhartha had created the Indian rival to Starbucks. Coming from a family that has a 140-year history of growing coffee, he initially dabbled in stock trading, before setting his foot in the coffee business. 

After being inspired by a chat with the owners of German coffee chain Tchibo, Siddhartha decided to open his own chain of cafes in India. With the tag line 'A lot can happen over a cup of coffee', he opened Cafe Coffee Day's first outlet on Bangalore's upscale Brigade Road in 1994. 

It's now the largest chain of coffee shops in India, with 1,750 cafes in more than 200 cities, including outlets in Prague, Vienna and Kuala Lumpur. Coffee Day went public in 2015.

In 1999, Siddhartha was roped in by IT veteran Ashok Soota when Subroto Bagchi, Rostow Ravanan and KK Natarajan were putting together IT firm Mindtree.

He was once the largest shareholder of Mindtree but decided to cash out. In March this year, he sold out his 20.41 per cent stake in MindTree to Larsen & Toubro (L&T), making close to Rs 2,858 crores profit. That deal helped him repay his debt of about Rs 2,900 crore.

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