VG Siddhartha: Body found in search for Cafe Coffee Day tycoon

VG Siddhartha in a Cafe Coffee Day shopImage copyright AFP
Image caption Cafe Coffee Day is India’s largest coffee shop franchise chain

A body has been found in the search for the founder and owner of India’s largest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day, police said.

VG Siddhartha went missing on Monday after apparently walking away from his car and driver near a river on the outskirts of Mangalore.

On Tuesday, police said a body had been found by fishermen on the river which appeared to be Mr Siddhartha.

The body is being taken to hospital for identification.

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”.

It also shared a widely circulated letter which appeared to have been signed by Mr Siddhartha, but has not been verified, in which he said he was in debt and had “failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts”.

“I am solely responsible for all mistakes. Every financial transaction is my responsibility,” it said.

“My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody, I have failed as an entrepreneur.”

Cafe Coffee Day is India’s largest coffee franchise chain. It has about 1,750 cafes across the country and some international outlets including in Malaysia, Nepal and Egypt.

However, local media reports said that its rate of expansion had slowed down significantly over the last two years in the face of increased competition.

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