Preserving Legacies: The Unwavering Spirit of Cafe Coffee Day
It all started in 1996 when V.G. Siddartha opened the first Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) in Bengaluru. The idea behind the cafe was to build a comfortable environment where one could sit, surf the internet and have meetings, all while sipping on their premium coffee.
🌱 Seed of an Idea
The idea for CCD was born when Siddartha met the owner of Tchibo Gold, a famous German coffee brand. Its owner narrated the tale of how he started small, with minimal expenditure and a 10ft shop in Hamburg and how his business has turned into a million-dollar brand.
With this, the seed to build a coffee empire was implanted in Siddharta’s mind and so he started his own business ABC (Amalgamated Coffee Business), whose subsidiary was “Cafe Coffee Day”. In the short span of 2 years, it became India’s largest coffee exporter and soon Siddhartha realised the potential and power of the internet. This might seem trivial now, but it was considered nothing short of luxury in the early 2000s, as a cup of coffee and an hour of internet used to cost ₹100 back then.
💔 A Chapter on Hardship
On October 14, 2015, CCD opened its gates for the IPO but was met with an underwhelming response from the public. In the following years, they had to shut down hundreds of their stores. By March 2019, Café Coffee Day had accumulated a debt of ₹6,550 crores.
A couple of months later, Siddharta suddenly disappeared and no one could find him for 2 days. Tragically, after a 36-hour-long search, his body was recovered from a riverbank. This incident had major implications on CCD’s business, which took a serious hit; a ₹800 crore loss. Its stock price also dropped heavily to ₹154, which was its lowest.
🤺 A Comeback For Ages
After this disheartening incident, many assumed that it was the end for CCD, but that’s when Siddartha’s wife, Malvika Hegde, stepped up and took over the role of CEO of Cafe Coffee Day. Since then, she has shown commitment and perseverance and has done her absolute best to empower her employees.
In December 2021, Hegde joined the business. She managed to grow the business even during the pandemic and took a bold step to close down stores that were failing to make any profits. She also managed to bring in more investors to infuse money into her vision for CCD.
Currently, Cafe Coffee Day owns 572 cafes across India and has over 36,000 vending machines serving coffee to various CCD customers. But more importantly, people still rely on the calm atmosphere the cafes provide, a legacy that V.G Siddharta left behind.