The body of VG Siddhartha, founder of Café Coffee Day, was recovered from Netravati river in Mangaluru on July 31. He had gone missing two days ago. Police also recovered a suicide note, in which he apologised to his board members and CCD employees, saying he “failed as an entrepreneur”.
But, did he?
The most formative years of most 90s kids were spent sipping hot coffee in a CCD. Back in the days, college students didn’t “get wasted” in pubs, they hung out at coffee shops guffawing away carefree evenings. The popularity of the café chain spiralled, and outlets mushroomed across India's major cities and tourist destinations.
It’s a popular tag line, “A lot can happen over coffee”, was vindicated for many as the four walls of the café saw friendships and relationships bloom and blossom. It was not only the “it place” for everyday hangouts but a common haunt for college couples who sought a pocket-friendly but safe and 'happening' hangout.
Possibly the icing on the cake was that a CCD outlet promises spic and span washrooms and hygienic environs. Slowly but surely, Café Coffee Day became an indispensable part of our lives and spawned several lookalike coffees and tea chains.
Millennials may be hard-pressed to understand why every 90s kid is in a pained stupor today. Siddhartha’s demise marks the end of an era in their lives – the beloved coffee culture that his chain of coffee shops started.
Siddhartha’s suicide note is now viral on social media, and people are taking to Twitter in the hundreds, to share their fond memories of CCD.