Business & Economy

The lady who saved Cafe Coffee day

Café Coffee Day is an Indian Multinational chain of coffeehouses headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was founded in 1996 by V G Siddhartha. It comes under the category of Coffeehouses and the shares of the company are traded in both BSE and NSE.

The entrepreneur from Chikkamagaluru has turned the coffee-based business into a multi-billion-dollar food and beverages conglomerate. Because of its own coffee plantations, the business has successfully been able to provide coffee and other beverages at much cheaper rates. The initial idea of the founder was to set up an ambiance where people could sit and surf over the internet while they enjoy a cup of coffee. In no time the business expanded all over India with currently 1,192 cafes in tier 2 cities across India.

The company was the best in its field until 2019 when the founder went missing in the month of July and later was declared that he has committed suicide. His body was found on the banks of the Netravati River. Until then the debts of the company never came out to the public. Only when the reason for his suicide was looked into, did they find a letter by Siddhartha which stated that the financial troubles that he went through in his business, the pressure from private equity partners and other lenders, and also the harassment by the Income Tax department has led him to succumb to the situation. He also mentioned that there were few transactions in the company that were done without the board of directors’ knowledge and it may be the reason for the huge amount of debt that CCD had in 2019.

The company had 7200 crore debt in March 2019 which was a huge amount and a situation where the company could be dissolved to repay its debt.

It all changed when the late V G Siddhartha’s wife – Malvika Hegde joined the CDEL (Coffee Day Enterprises Limited) as the new CEO in December 2020 just to change the situation of the company which was an empire built by her husband as his dream. She wanted to keep her husband’s vision intact and also the jobs of thousands of people who have been associated with the business for a very long time. She chose to be brave and confident to join the company as the CEO to manage all the things by herself. The company’s undertaking was not new to her completely as she worked as a non-board member before and supported her husband.

She worked hard for the company and put all her efforts to reduce the debt of the company. The annual report of CDEL in 2021 showed its debt as Rs. 1,731 with secured and unsecured loans which included long-term borrowings and short-term borrowings.

As a part of the ongoing divestment and debt reduction plan – the company has sold one of its properties in Global Village which helped in reducing the major part of their debt. The company is still working on making plans to reduce its debt further. The lady who was always at the back to support her husband’s dreams has now come into the limelight to save her husband’s dreams.

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