Soon after the Chairman and Managing Director of Cafe Coffee Day, V.G. Siddhartha went missing in Mangaluru a letter written by him, addressed to “Board of Directors and Coffee Day family,” has gone viral.
As reported by The Hindu, police officials have confirmed that the letter is genuine.
In the letter dated 27th July, Siddhartha blames financial troubles and harassment from Income Tax authorities for succumbing to the situation.
Below is the complete text of the letter:
To our Board of directors and Coffee Day family,
After 37 years, with strong commitment to hard work, having directly created 30,000 jobs in technology company where I have been a large shareholder since its founding. I have failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts.
I would like to say I have given 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 have given 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. Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me succumbing to the situation. There was a lot of harassment from the previous DG income tax in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taken possession of our Coffee Day shares, although the revised returns have been filed by us. This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch.
I sincerely request each of you to be strong and to continue running these businesses with a new management. I am solely responsible for all mistakes. Every financial transaction is my responsibility. My team, auditors and senior management and totally unaware of all my transactions. The law should hold me and only me accountable, as I have withheld this information from everybody including my family.
My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody. I have failed as an entrepreneur. This is my sincere submission. I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me.
I have enclosed a list of our assets and tentative value of each asset. As seen below our assets outweigh our liabilities and can help repay everybody.
In 2017, Siddhartha was raided by income tax officers and therefore the mention of harassment from the previous DG Income Tax has raised several questions.
Congress leader and former Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar says it is extremely fishy that VG Siddhartha would write such a letter, demanded an investigation.
However, I find this utterly fishy and urge that a thorough Investigation be conducted into this matter.
Shri Siddhartha and his family were closely known to me for decades now.
— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) July 30, 2019
Meanwhile, Sanjay Nirupam raised asked what failed VG Siddhartha after a successful run for decades.
Cafe Coffee Day was considered a huge success story in last 20 yrs. But suddenly,its owner and founder Sidharth is saying today that he failed as entrepreneur.He is missing.
What failed him eventually?
Economic policy?Market forces?or Consumer behaviour?
Or recession has arrived? pic.twitter.com/vCduZX2L5j
— Sanjay Nirupam (@sanjaynirupam) July 30, 2019