Waking up to the news of the sad demise of the founder of India’s largest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day, VG Siddhartha left me questioning what goes inside the human mind when one decides to take such huge step?
Men and Mental Health have been a topic of taboo, men can’t be a weak and they are not allowed to express their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. What led to this devastating compromise of CCD?
A person of such stature committed suicide due to enormous stress and the burden was such that he preferred ending his life.
V. G. Siddhartha Hegde was an Indian billionaire businessman from Karnataka.
He was reported missing and prior to his disappearance, he left a heart-warming note to his employees revealing how much in debt he was. The mountain of debt was impairing his business as working capital requirements could not be met. It led him to sale his stakes in IT firm Mindtree that gave him some room to maneuver.
“I have failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts. 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,” his note read.
He also alleged “tremendous pressure” from other lenders and “a lot of harassment from the previous DG income tax”.
36 hours of his disappearance, keen searches and it was when while traveling for Sakleshpur in Hassan district in a car on Monday afternoon, he reportedly directed his driver Basavaraj Patil to drive towards Mangaluru.
At a bridge near Ullala, he got down from the car, told his driver he was going for a walk and asked him to wait. He then walked towards the bridge and never returned, later his body was found today morning from the Netravathi river, about 500 meters away from the road bridge from which he allegedly jumped off.
VG Siddhartha changed the face of coffee cups and created the largest empire of coffee in India. CCD is a got to place for many, where I first learned about something like cappuccino and moca exists.
Where metaphors like a lot can happen over a coffee was lived and laughed over with every cup of coffee. Today I feel devastated seeing the empire lost his King, his creator. How can a creator a founder member of something so important just disappear? Was the pain so inevitable?
Usually, Men face a lot of financial burden on their society-conditioned responsible shoulders. They are meant to rule and dominate, are are not allowed to shed a tear when they get tired of the hardships life throw on them. I don’t know what went inside the mind of Mr. VG Sidhartha but I know one thing that many men out there struggle a lot to make it even daily.
Some hustle and make their way out of their struggle, some fail and collapse. Some just disappear.
The most common cause of Mental Health in men is financial stress and professional strain. I believe every organization should adopt some mental health measure, some signposts when they see some signs.
I cannot believe that a person doesn’t show any sign before taking any such step, they do, they try to signal, they try to tell their stories but are always afraid to be judged and unaccepted.
I do not understand the political angle of this story neither I intend to, all I care about is an Industrialist commited suicide due to enormous stress he was going through. The case studies of such people we study in management schools.
CCD story as per reports
Coffee retailing is just one of the many businesses of Coffee Day Enterprises. The group has financial services, tech parks, and SEZs, logistics, and investments.
Cafe Coffee Day’s parent company Coffee Day Enterprises is heavily in debt. According to the Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy, as of March 2019, Coffee Day Enterprises’s total debt stood at Rs 6,547.38 crore. It’s market capitalization was Rs 4,732 crore on June 26, 2019.
CCD’s Siddhartha needed capital to fund his chain’s expansion. The presence of Tata Starbucks and a rejuvenated Costa Coffee (after its acquisition by Coca-Cola) has heightened competition. The arrival of tea outlets such as Chaayos and Chai Point has made things more difficult.
According to Economic Times, CCD has 1,752 cafes and 60,000 vending machines across India as of March 2019. Globally the chain has a presence in Nepal, Malaysia, Egypt, and Austria.
VG Siddharta needed money to clear his debts but it costed him his life.
Source: Times of India