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Why entrepreneur CCD founder Siddhartha ended up the way he did

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On Wednesday, the coffee square on Vittal Mallya road in Bengaluru where the headquarters of Café Coffee Day (CCD) stands wore a desolate look. It was a quiet day, interspersed by the occasional arrival or exit of grim-faced senior executives.

Things have been rather tense ever since news emerged early on Tuesday morning that CCD’s founder Chairman VG Siddhartha was missing, and may have killed himself unable to bear the financial pressure he was under. His body washed up on the shores of Nethravati river early on Wednesday morning.

How did things come to such a sorry pass for a man labelled “India’s coffee king?” While there are many explanations proffered, a cursory reading of the group’s holdings indicate that while assets exceed liabilities, the issue seems to be an old one which has plagued ambitious entrepreneurs— excessive borrowing.

As of 31 March 2019 Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd (the holding company) had a debt of Rs 6547.38 crore. It wasn’t clear whether this includes Rs 2100 crore the company would have received net of taxes and expense after it sold the 20.41% stake it held in MindTree Consulting to L & T for Rs 3269 crore. Company officials did not respond to a request for comment. According to publicly available data as of June 2019, 75.70% of the promoter group’s holdings in Coffee Day Enterprises were pledged to lenders.

Share prices of most companies have fallen in the past months and Coffee Day’s were no exception. In the last three months alone, the company’s shares have fallen nearly 46%.

Trading in the scrip was halted on Wednesday after it was breached the lower circuit after plunging 20% on Tuesday.

A former senior associate of Siddhartha who is now an investor in startups claimed that the latter was looking to raise funds, but with little success. With funds failing to materalise and unable to liqudate the vast real estate holdings of the group, Siddhartha was staring down the barrel.

In the 27th July letter addressed to the board, in which Siddhartha indicated that he was giving up, he provided an estimate of what he thought the various group businesses are worth. By his own assessment the group’s assets seem to be in the range of Rs 15,000 crores and liabilities, less than half of that.

However, unable to service the growing mountain of debt and to liquidate his assets in a tough market, he seems to have decided to end it all.

On Wednesday, the board in a notice to the stock exchanges announced the appointment of S V Ranganath as the interim chairman of the board and Nitin Bagmane as the COO. Ranganath is a retired senior IAS officer, a former chief secretary of Karnataka who is known to be close to Siddhartha’s father-in-law, former chief minister S M Krishna. He also was the head of Coffee Board for a brief while in the late 1990s. Ranganath was an independent director on the board of the company.

Coffee Day Enterprise Ltd also said that it had taken cognizance of the statements in the purported letter from Siddhartha relating to financial transactions outside the knowledge of the senior management, auditors and the board. It also said the authenticity of the letter is unverified and it is unclear whether these statements pertained to the company or the personal holdings of Siddhartha.

The board also indicated that it has the backing of the family of Siddhartha including his wife Malavika Hegde.

Naresh Malhotra a former CEO of Cafe Coffee Day expressed shock at the developments “He was a fine entrepreneur. Very rooted and built a globally known retail brand. I am sure the board will ensure that the legacy of Siddhartha is protected and strengthened.”

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17-year-old boy apprehended in Delhi for stalking girls on Instagram.

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A 17-year-old boy has been apprehended by the Delhi Police for allegedly stalking a number of minor girls on Instagram and threatening to publish their private photos.

According to the police, a father filed a complaint after becoming concerned that his 14-year-old daughter’s Instagram photos might have been shared with others.

According to the police, both the father and the daughter were counseled. The girl had shared her private photos and videos with a friend on instagram, and now the friend is pressurizing her to have more inappropriate conversations and send more of her private photos, the police said.

A case was filed based on the statement made by the minor girl.

Source: IndianExpress

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Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann inaugurates 400 Mohalla Clinic in Amritsar

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Image: Bhagwant Mann (Twitter)

Friday, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated 400 Mohalla Clinics in Amritsar’s Putlighar.
Amritsar now has 400 mohalla clinics, bringing the total in the state to 500.

As a chief guest at the inauguration, Delhi CM Kejriwal expressed his happiness and noted that Punjab’s clinics were constructed in ten months rather than the five years it took to construct them in Delhi. He added that a lot of districts and villages will get new clinics.

“I am very happy and thankful for the citizens for believing in us. My little brother, Mann, has fulfilled another guarantee,” he said.

Kejriwal said, “Being a full state, Punjab suffers no interference from the central government unlike Delhi,” in an attack on the central government. Every village will receive more of these clinics in the coming years.”

Source: ANI

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Another Hit & Run Case: Car dragged scooty rider for 300 meters, one died

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Once again a case of hit, run, and drag has come to the fore in Delhi. One person died in this accident while the other is still admitted to the hospital. Delhi Police has arrested a total of 5 accused including the driver by registering a case under the section of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. CCTV footage of this incident has also come to the fore.

On the intervening night of Thursday-Friday, at around 3 pm, two PCR vans of Keshavpuram police station were patrolling the area. Only then the police personnel riding in it saw that a Tata Zest car hit an Activa scooty at Prerna Chowk in Kanhaiya Nagar area. Two youths were sitting on this scooty. One of the young men jumped in the air and fell on the roof of the car. At the same time, another young man jumped and got stuck between the windscreen and the bonnet of the car, while the scooty got stuck in the bumper below.

After this accident, instead of stopping the car, the accused fled from the spot, but the policemen posted in PCR caught all the 5 people in the car after chasing them for about 350 meters. During this, the policemen called the control room and informed them about the accident. The team that reached the spot took both the injured to the hospital, where one was declared brought dead by the doctors. The condition of the other youth remains critical.

Source: Aajtak

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