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CCD's VG Siddhartha dies: India has lost a true home-grown entrepreneur, says HDFC’s Deepak Parekh

Updated : July 31, 2019 07:24 PM IST

More than 24 hours after Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Siddhartha went missing, his body was found near Karnataka's Netravathi river.  Siddhartha was missing since Monday evening and is believed to have committed suicide.

CNBC-TV18 spoke to veteran corporate leader and chairman of HDFC Deepak Parekh on Siddhartha's death and the message it sends to India Inc, private equity investors and tax authorities.

Parekh said: “The unfortunate news of VG Siddhartha is indeed a shock to all of us having known him professionally and personally for many years. It pains me to realise the mental agony that he must have been undergoing. He was unassuming, he was gentle and soft spoken. India really has lost a true home-grown entrepreneur.”

In a letter for his disappearance on Monday, Siddhartha left a letter alleging harassment from tax officials and pressure from private equity (PE) partners .

Talking about PE and tax administration, Parekh said: “They are doing their job, the tax department is doing their job and private equity have to do their job. If an entrepreneur gives a commitment that he will exit in certain number of years and if he doesn’t do so I guess the banker will go after the client or a PE will go after the customer because it is not their money, it is third party money which they are managing.”

He added: “There are various compulsions for a PE, for a bank, tax people so individually they do their jobs and businessmen must understand that they should only expand or grow or acquire to the extent they have capability.”

Speaking about tax disputes, Parekh said: “Tax disputes will always be there, interpretation of tax laws be always be different. We have to try and solve it in a shorter period of time because these tax cases go on and on for many years. So we should shorten that process so one can move on.”

On ease of doing business, he said: “We are improving in the index, World Bank Index, we have improved significantly. Our honourable prime minister has also said that India should come under 50 in the rank.

"I think the government is trying to do as much as they can and we should support whatever is happening but these legislative issues whether it is NCLT [National Company Law Tribunal], whether it is tax, whether it is Sebi [Securities and Exchange Board of India], I think should speed up because immediate decisions are necessary.”
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