VG Siddhartha, the founder of India’s largest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day and son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna has gone missing from Mangaluru in Karnataka.
In a letter written by Siddhartha to his employees before he went missing on Monday, he said he had “failed to create the right profitable business model despite his best efforts”, adding to it, he said, “I would like to say I gave 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 gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares. A transaction he 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,” he added.
“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 taking position 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,” he wrote.
“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,” he further wrote.
According to the reports, he was last seen near Netravati river in Mangaluru.
Siddhartha’s driver said he got off from his car near a bridge across the Netravati river and walked away but did not return even after an hour. An anxious driver went down looking for him but could not find him anywhere. He then alerted the family members and the matter was brought to the attention of the police.
Police have launched a massive search for the businessman.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Congress leaders D K Shivakumar and B L Shankar rushed to the residence of SM Krishna early this morning.
Siddhartha is among the country’s largest exporters of coffee bean. His family has been in the coffee-growing business for over 130 years.