V. G. Siddhartha

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V. G. Siddhartha
Veerappa Gangaiah Siddhartha Hegde

23 August 1959
Thanoodi, Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka, India
Died (aged 59)
Mangaluru, Karnataka, India
Cause of deathSuicide by drowning
Resting placeChikkamagaluru, Karnataka, India
Alma materSt. Aloysius Mangalore
Mangalore University
TitleChairman & MD, Café Coffee Day
Board member ofMindtree
RelativesS. M. Krishna (father in-law)

Veerappa Gangaiah Siddhartha Hegde (29 August 1959 – 29 July 2019) was an Indian businessman from Karnataka.[1] 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.

After going missing on the evening of 29 July 2019, his body was found by three fishermen at the Hoige Bazaar beach, near the mouth of the river Nethravati on 31 July 2019.[2]

Early life[edit]

Veerappa Gangaiah Siddhartha Hegde was born to Gangaiah Hegde in the Malenadu region of Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka State.[3] He hailed from a very affluent family of coffee planters belonging to the Vokkaliga community.[4] He received a master's degree in economics from St. Aloysius College and Mangalore University, Karnataka.[5]


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.[6] After two years, he returned to Bangalore. With capital given by his father, Siddhartha bought stocks worth ₹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).[6]

He established his coffee trading company ABC in Karnataka 1993, with a ₹6 crore turnover. He bought an ailing coffee curing unit in Hassan for ₹4 crore and improved it. The company now has the largest curing capacity in India at 75,000 tonnes.[6][7]

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.[8] His cafes attract 40,000 to 50,000 visitors a week.[6] Siddhartha also held board seats in GTV, Mindtree, Liqwid Krystal, Way2Wealth, and Ittiam.[6] In 2000, he founded Global Technology Ventures Ltd, a company that identifies, invests in, and mentors Indian companies engaged in technologies.[9] 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.[6] In 1999, GTV was valued by BankAm at $100 million.[6]

He planted banana trees on 3,000 acres (1,214 ha) and had plans to export bananas.[7] The Dark Forest Furniture Company is named after V. G. Siddhartha's Kathale Kaad (Dark Forest in Kannada) estate in Chikmagalur.[10]

Sical Logistics Ltd, a logistics company founded in India in 1955, was acquired by Coffee Day group in 2011.[11]

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.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Siddhartha was married to Malavika Krishna and had two children Amartya Hegde and Ishaan Hegde.[13][14] His son Amartya married D. K. Shivakumar's daughter Aishwarya Shivakumar on 14 February 2021.[15] Siddhartha was the son-in-law of S. M. Krishna, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Indian Minister for External Affairs and Governor of Maharashtra.[16]


On the evening of 29 July 2019, he told his driver to stop as they approached the bridge over the Nethravati River in Ullal, Mangalore. He directed the driver to wait for him at the other end of the bridge giving an impression that he wanted to take a stroll. The driver reported to the police that he did not show up even after an hour; which led to a search of the area for him. The Indian Coast Guard and National Disaster Response Force eventually joined a search.[17] A letter,[18] apparently written by Siddhartha and addressed to his company board, shareholders, and family, surfaced a few hours after he went missing.[19] This letter detailed the unbearable pressure he was subjected to over the years and the harassment he faced under the "previous" Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) (referred to as DG in the letter).[18]

His body was found at the Hoige Bazaar beach on 31 July around 6:30 am by local fishermen who informed the police.[20][16] His body was cremated at Chethanahalli coffee estate owned by his family in Chikkamagalur district on 31 July 2019.[21]

A police investigation into his death, reported suicide by drowning as the cause.[22]



  1. ^ Srikar Muthyala (29 September 2015). "The List of Great Entrepreneurs of India in 2015". MyBTechLife. Archived from the original on 14 January 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Cafe Coffee Day owner VG Siddhartha dead, body found". The Economic Times. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  3. ^ "'Coffee king' and more". Hindustan Times. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  4. ^ "A month after VG Siddhartha's demise, CCD founder's father passes away". The Economic Times. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Rural youth". Times of India. Archived from the original on 12 September 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Rediff On The NeT Business Special: V G Siddhartha: From coffee to cyber cafes". Archived from the original on 3 November 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  7. ^ a b "V.G. Siddhartha is Branching Out". Forbes India. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Coffee Day Annual Report 2018" (PDF). p. 13. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Way2Wealth Brokers Pvt. Ltd". Archived from the original on 1 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  10. ^ "Coffee king on Amazon trail for furniture biz". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  11. ^ "VG Siddhartha and Cafe Coffee Day: A timeline of highlights". Forbes India. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  12. ^ "I-T raids son-in-law of former Karnataka CM SM Krishna, owner of Cafe Coffee Day chain". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  13. ^ "CCD founder VG Siddhartha family tree: From father-in-law SM Krishna to wife Malavika Krishna and sons". www.timesnownews.com. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Coffee King laid to rest". Deccan Herald. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  15. ^ "VVIPs from Delhi to land in Bengaluru for wedding of DK Shivakumar's daughter".
  16. ^ a b "Body of Café Coffee Day owner V.G. Siddhartha found". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 31 July 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 31 July 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  17. ^ "VG Siddhartha Missing". News18. Archived from the original on 30 July 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  18. ^ a b Rajput, Rashmi; Krishnan, Raghu (31 July 2019). "I-T says VG Siddhartha's signature on note not matching". The Economic Times. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  19. ^ "I give up: CCD owner VG Siddhartha goes missing, leaves distressing letter for board". India Today. Archived from the original on 30 July 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Cafe Coffee Day Founder's Body Found 2 Days After He Went Missing". NDTV.com. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  21. ^ "VG Siddhartha cremated in Chethanahalli coffee estate". The Economic Times. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  22. ^ "V.G. Siddhartha's death: final report confirms it is suicide". The Hindu. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  23. ^ a b "V.G. Siddhartha – Non-Executive Director". mindtree.com. Mindtree. Retrieved 31 July 2019.

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