VG Siddhartha, the co-founder of Cafe Coffee Day and son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna, has been reportedly missing since Monday night.
Police and media reports claim that he jumped off a bridge in Ullal. The Mangaluru city police began a search mission for a person who had been reported to have jumped off the one-kilometer long bridge over Netravati river about 6 Km from Mangaluru. This incident was reported to have happened at about 9 p.m. on Monday.
According to media reports from the Economic Times, Siddhartha arrived at 8 p.m. from Bengaluru and asked the driver to take him to the Ullal bridge. According to the statement of the driver, Siddhartha asked for the car to stop at one end of the bridge, walked a considerable distance of the bridge and then disappeared. After about 90 minutes of waiting for the passenger to return, the driver called the police.
Once Mangaluru City Police received this particular statement from the driver, they began the search operation along with boats being sent into the river waters. However, the rains seem to have led to a rise in the water levels have stalled the search process.
CCD has about 1,752 cafés as of March 2019, and has risen in India as a leader in the organised café space. Most recently, CCD had been in talks with Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, to expand into the carbonated drinks business. Siddhartha had sold a 20.32 percent stake and two affiliate organizations ( i.e. Coffee Day Enterprises and Coffee Day Trading) in software services company Mindtree to L&T in March for Rs. 3,200 crores.
The expansion of the coffee-chain has become sluggish in the past two years because of rising debt. As a reaction to competition from other boutique cafés such as Chaayos and Chai Point, it shut 90 small-format stores in FY18.
Image source: Outlook Business