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Coffee Day still a formidable force: VG Siddhartha's wife Malavika Hegde tells employees

Coffee Day still a formidable force: VG Siddhartha's wife Malavika Hegde tells employees

Coffee Day still a formidable force: VG Siddhartha's wife Malavika Hegde tells employees
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By Mugdha Variyar  Jul 24, 2020 9:15:30 PM IST (Updated)

On the day that an investigation report made strong statements about Coffee Day founder VG Siddartha's financial dealings, the coffee entrepreneur's wife and director of the group company Malavika Hegde wrote an emotional letter to the group's 25,000 employees, stating that the Coffee Day story was "worth preserving".

On the day that an investigation report made strong statements about Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha's financial dealings, the coffee entrepreneur's wife and director of the group company Malavika Hegde wrote an emotional letter to the group's 25,000 employees, stating that the Coffee Day story was "worth preserving".

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On Friday, nearly a year after VG Siddhartha's demise on July 29, 2019, the investigation report commissioned by the Coffee Day board was submitted, in which the investigators have given a clean chit to the Income Tax Department and the PE investors of the company in reference to the founder's statements of harassment and pressure he faced.
The investigators also said in the report that they were "broadly agreeable to the statement made by VG Siddhartha that he failed to create the right profitable business model."
Hegde, who was married to Siddhartha for 32 years, in her letter to employees praised his "bold ambitions".
"While many doubted our survival, we have fought each day shoulder to shoulder on the frontline’s for this remarkable company. And that is why we still stand here today," she said.
"Siddhartha always had bold ambitions. Without Siddhartha’s visionary thinking, great brands and companies like Cafe Coffee Day, Mindtree, Global Village Tech Park, Way2Wealth, Globval Edge and the Serai Resorts may not have existed. The 12,000 acre coffee plantation division he put together, the second largest holding in Asia, may not be around," she added.
Hegde, who is the daughter of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna, said that she will work to settle dues of Coffee Day's lenders and said she was committed to keep the company as a going concern.
"Our share of challenges are far from over, but for a proud Indian coffee company that started the coffee revolution in India in 1996, we remain a formidable force," Hegde said.
"I am resolutely committed to the future of Coffee Day as a going concern. We have significantly brought down our debt level from Rs 7200 crore at the start of last year to Rs 3,200 crore now. We think that we can bring that to a more manageable level with our plans to sell a few more of our investments shortly," she said.
The investigation report highlighted that a personal business entity of VG Siddhartha - Mysore Amalgamated Coffee Estates Ltd owes Rs 2693 crore to Coffee Day and subsidiaries.
"Siddhartha has left me a job to do, to settle every lender to the best of my ability, to grow the business and to enthuse and foster our employees. I am grateful that despite a deadly pandemic enforced lockdown, we have been able to sustain businesses and jobs in the last few months," Hegde said.
"Coffee Day is a genuine Indian consumer story worth preserving," Siddhartha's wife wrote, with which she ended her note.
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