Delhi, Aug 03, 2019 : The cause of death of Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Siddhartha is yet to be ascertained. However, GR Gopinath, founder of low-cost airline Air Deccan says the Coffee King could have averted the tragedy if he had shared his concerns with friends or kin, Yahoo reported.
Siddhartha’s body was found on Wednesday morning after being reported missing mysteriously since Monday night from Ullal near Mangaluru in Karnataka. His body was recovered from Netravati river after 36 hours of search operations.
Gopinath, in an article in CNBC-TV18, says that if Siddhartha had shared his problems with someone who was close to him and sought remedies when he felt let down, this tragedy would not have happened.
The Air Deccan founder said that VG Siddhartha’s innovative idea to create a new cultural space for the present-day youth to meet and exchange their ideas was a mega success. His coffee outlets, Cafe Coffee Day had provided that space to them and it gained currency across the country in no time, he said.
Siddhartha, the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader SM Krishna, was last seen near the bridge in the Kotepura area in Dakshina Kannada district on Monday night, police said.
Meanwhile, India Today citing data from stock exchanges and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) said that Siddhartha’s debt might have piled up and touched Rs 11,000 crore.
Siddhartha’s Coffee Day Enterprises Limited (CDEL) had reported a debt of Rs 6,547 crore as on 31 March 2019. Besides this, his group’s four private holding companies had outstanding pledges worth over Rs 3,522 crore as of the fiscal year 2018-19, the report said based on data.
Before he went missing, the Cafe Coffee Day founder had reportedly written a letter to the board of directors and the employees highlighting issues troubling him and the company.
In the letter, he blamed the "serious liquidity crunch", "harassment from the previous DG income tax" and "pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares" for his situation.
The apparent suicide of India’s coffee baron, under investigation by tax authorities, has inflamed anger toward the government among business leaders who feel it is going too far in its crackdown on fraud and tax evasion.
Drastic measures taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration include stringent action to enforce tax compliance, probes into bank lending practices and threatening auditors with five-year bans for alleged lapses in their work.