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VG Siddhartha: Cafe Coffee Day tycoon’s body found

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The body of the founder and owner of India’s largest coffee chain, Cafe Coffee Day, has been found near a river on the outskirts of the southern city of Mangalore, police say.

VG Siddhartha went missing on Monday after apparently walking away from his car and driver.

On Tuesday, police said a body had been found by fishermen on the river.

The identity was confirmed by members of Mr Siddhartha’s family after the body was taken to hospital.

Mr Siddhartha’s company, Coffee Day Enterprises Limited, held an emergency board meeting on Monday to discuss his absence. In a statement, it appealed for “the support and strength of all our stakeholders”.

In a note to the stock exchange it said the company was “professionally managed and led by a competent business team” which would ensure the “continuity” of business.

The 59-year-old coffee tycoon, who has been described in local media as “soft spoken” and “self-effacing”, was not fond of the limelight.

He was born to a family of coffee plantation owners, but his first company was an investment firm. He used the profits from it to enter the coffee business, according to PTI news agency.

His decision to open a chain of cafes was inspired by a chat with the owners of Tchibo, a German coffee chain. Cafe Coffee Day opened its first outlet in the southern city of Bangalore in 1996. It wooed customers by offering them free internet with a cappuccino.

BBC

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