The Income Tax today conducted search operations at the premises of India's largest coffee chain -Cafe Coffee Day- owner VG Siddhartha. The raids are still on and early reports suggest that the Income Tax sleuths are looking for evidences of tax evasion. VG Siddhartha is the son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna. Siddhartha wanted to join the Indian Army but went on to create India's largest coffee empire.
Here's all you need to know VG Siddhartha:
- VG Siddhartha comes from a family that has a 135-year history of growing coffee. Despite this, he was a reluctant entrant into this industry and wanted to work as an investment banker in Mumbai after completing his Master's degree in Economics from Mangalore University.
- In 1984, VG Siddhartha launched his own investment and venture capital firm - Sivan Securities, in Bangalore - and began investing the profits from his start-up to buy coffee plantations in Karnataka's Chikmagalur district. Around this time, he also began taking an interest in his family's coffee business. That, however, was confined to growing coffee and selling it in the domestic market through the Coffee Board.
- VG Siddhartha opened Cafe Coffee Day's first outlet on Bangalore's upscale Brigade Road in 1996. The CCD's first launch came at a time when Bangalore was on the cusp of a transformation from a pensioners' paradise to an IT and lifestyle haven. It was a gamble- Coffee Day was entering a market that had been traditionally dominated by tea-but it paid off.
- Coffee Day was among the top three exporters of green coffee beans in the mid-'90s, but has since moved down the ladder-deliberately. Because, Siddhartha realised that rather than bet on the volatile global markets, he was better off investing his resources on the vast but virtually untapped Indian market.
- By number of coffee outlets, VG Siddhartha's retail chain till 2011 was among the top six globally, behind Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Tim Hortons, Costa Coffee and McCafe, some of which are part of bigger chains.
- VG Siddhartha's Cafe Coffee Day is the largest coffee retail chain in India. Siddhartha and his family own a coffee empire that stretches in over 10,000 acres of coffee estates in Chikamagalur, Karnataka. As of March 2015, the CCD group run 1530 outlets across 29 states of India. All the coffee served at Coffee Day outlets comes from the 10,000 acres of plantations that Siddhartha owns in Chikamagalur, Karnataka.
- Immediately after the raids report, the Coffee Day Enterprises stock slumped up to 7.5 per cent in morning trade. At 11:18 am, the stock was trading 3.50 percent lower at 233 on the BSE. The stock fell up to 223.85 level in early trade but recovered losses to trade higher later in the day. The stock has barely moved in an year but has gained 18 percent since the beginning of this year.