(NEW YORK) — The body of VG Siddhartha, the founder of India’s largest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day, was recovered on Wednesday from near a river just outside the southern Indian city of Mangaluru, authorities said.
Siddhartha was last seen on Monday by his driver, who said Siddhartha had gone for a walk but never returned. The driver alerted Siddhartha’s family who contacted police, district magistrate S. Sasikanth Senthil told ABC News.
Police said that a local fisherman found his body Wednesday morning.
Siddhartha, who comes from a coffee growing family, opened his first coffee shop in 1996. Since then the chain has grown to include more than 1700 cafes with outlets in countries like Austria, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic.
“Cafe Coffee Day created the café culture in India,” said Santosh Desai of the consulting firm FutureBrands. “It became a social place, a place chill out on your own. It created an alternative space. The efforts of Cafe Coffee Day helped make coffee an everyday culture in India. And the company continued to hold its own even after global chains like Starbucks came into the Indian market.”
People took to Twitter to pay tribute to Siddhartha and share memories of Cafe Coffee Day, an iconic chain that was the first of its kind in India and catered to the country’s growing middle class.
“I met my wife at #CafeCoffeeDay. That is just one story. There are millions of such beautiful stories across the nation,” said on Twitter user.
The district magistrate told ABC News that the police are still in the process of verifying the authenticity of a letter circulated by some news sites in which Siddhartha talked about his business troubles and has been viewed as a possible suicide note.
Police told ABC News that a post mortem into his death has been concluded and an investigation is ongoing.
Café Coffee Day released a tribute on social media remembering their chairman.
“We stand committed to his vision and will continue building on his legacy,” it said.
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