The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
Case Study
VG Siddhartha of Cafe Coffee Day: A 'Failed' Entrepreneur?

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJED30621
Author Name : Nagendra Kumar M V
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management Journals
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 18

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Abstract

The case study is about the entrepreneurial journey of VG Siddhartha (VGS), Chairman and Managing Director, Coffee Day Enterprises Limited (CDEL). The case study describes the various dimensions of VGS as an entrepreneur, the causes of the 'self-doubt' in his entrepreneurial journey, the role of financial management and diversification strategy in his entrepreneurial development, and his dramatic fall. VGS was acknowledged as the Coffee King of India. He was responsible for creating India's popular coffee hangout place called Cafe Coffee Day (CCD). CCD gained immense popularity among the young and urban population. VGS was also acknowledged for the strategic investment decisions he took as an investment banker and as an investment analyst. VGS was enthusiastic and energetic, and was considered a visionary entrepreneur in India. His suicide in July, 2019 brought his entrepreneurial journey to an abrupt end and left the entire business world and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India in a state of shock. In a note, VGS stated pressure from income tax department and private equity investors as a cause of his death. The incident raised several questions with respect to the challenges being faced by entrepreneurs in India.

If you are chasing your dream to make money alone, don't be an entrepreneur ... Chase your dream, and money will be on your way ... use it for the right causes ... Entrepreneurship is like an ultra-marathon ... there will be ups and downs ... Gains and losses ... It's a journey, gives a lot of personal satisfaction than earning and saving billions of dollars ... it cannot be without risk ... don't let yourself go down ... believe yourself ...

- V G Siddhartha, Chairman and Managing Director, Coffee Day Enterprises Limited
(CDEL) at eSummit'16, IIT Kanpur, India1

I would like to say I gave it my all. I am 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 I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend.

- Excerpts from the letter written by V G Siddhartha to Board of Directors
of CDEL and CDEL Family on July 27, 20192


Introduction

On July 29, 2019, family members, employees, friends, and well-wishers of V G Siddhartha (VGS), Chairman and Managing Director of Coffee Day Enterprises Limited (CDEL), were shocked to hear the disappearance of their beloved VGS. He had last been seen by his driver near the Netravati River (Netravati).3 Massive search operations went on for two days in the heavily flooded Netravati. Speculation abounded on the coffee baron's whereabouts. On August 1, 2019, a body was found washed up on the banks of the river. It was identified as that of VGS.


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