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India's "Coffee King" found dead in financial trouble



NEW DELHI – V.G. Siddhartha, a wealthy tycoon who defeated Starbucks to dominate the Indian retail coffee industry but faced personal financial difficulties, was found dead Wednesday, police said.

The police had conducted a thorough search for Mr. Siddhartha, the founder of the people, chain Cafe Coffee Day, which was last seen on Monday night on a waterfront bridge outside the coastal city of Mangalore in southern India. Fishermen discovered his body Wednesday morning near the coast.

Hanumantharaya, a high-ranking police officer with a name, said the police are still investigating the cause of death.

Mr. Siddhartha, whose family has been involved in the coffee business for 130 years, became one of the world's largest retailers after the opening of Cafe Coffee Day in 1996 and was nicknamed the "Coffee King of India". The company and its subsidiaries, which have recently expanded More than 30,000 people work in other Asian and European countries.

"The law should apply." I and only I are accountable " says in the letter . "I never intended to cheat or mislead anyone. I failed as an entrepreneur. "

Entrepreneurs in India have long maintained a strained relationship with the tax authorities. High-profile cases of corruption and fraud by tycoons have led to public mistrust of entrepreneurs. However, critics claim that in the name of combating fraud, the authorities occasionally use harassment to collect tax claims, even from honest citizens.

The result is frustration on all sides. The government is fighting for the tax revenue needed to finance social programs and build roads and power lines. Businesses find it difficult to comply with vague tax rules and tiresome enforcement practices. And multinational companies are reluctant to invest in India because they fear being involved in lengthy disputes.

The country's prime minister, Narendra Modi, has been promising for years to unravel the knot. Before his first term in 2014, he ran for the elections. Modi's party criticized the "tax terrorism" that had worsened India's image in the eyes of large foreign companies.

Since its seizure of power, the modes government has passed a national VAT, which should facilitate the compliance burden on businesses. Mr. Modi's surprise decision in 2016 to forgo high-denomination banknotes should force tax evaders to reverse the money they had pulled away to avoid taxes, as the World Bank has acknowledged India's steps to facilitate business ,

The police stated that Mr. Siddhartha, in his late fifties or early sixties, had told his family that he would go to a resort on Monday. Then he asked his driver to take him to Mangalore, about 200 miles from the company headquarters in Bangalore.


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