Story of a man who created India’s biggest coffee chain

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The book was acquired at an auction from Anish Chandy, Founder of the Labyrinth Literary Agency, by Teesta Guha Sarkar, Head of Editorial, Pan Macmillan India…reports Asian Lite News.

“Coffee King” is the definitive biography of the late VG Siddhartha, the founder of the Cafe Coffee Day retail chain and several other businesses.

Known to be an extremely savvy technology investor, Siddhartha had also backed at a very early stage some of the marquee names in the Indian IT services landscape today. But by 2019, he was highly leveraged on both business and personal fronts and facing a liquidity crisis. In July that year, he died by suicide after jumping into the Netravati river.

Siddhartha left behind a grieving and bewildered family, investor community and employee base, and a startled but curious media and public.

Through extensive research, hundreds of interviews and the analysis of thousands of official documents, Rukmini Rao and Prosenjit Datta now piece together the story of Siddhartha’s dynamic rise as a businessman and also his fall from grace, unravelling the reasons that led to his financial crises and eventually his shocking death.

The book was acquired at an auction from Anish Chandy, Founder of the Labyrinth Literary Agency, by Teesta Guha Sarkar, Head of Editorial, Pan Macmillan India.

Commenting on the acquisition, Rukmini Rao said: “VG Siddhartha’s biography will offer much more than just the story of the man who created India’s biggest coffee chain. There were many facets to him that remain unknown. This book will bring all those aspects together to present a complex, holistic portrait.”

Prosenjit Datta said: “As we proceeded with the research for this book, we realised that Siddhartha had built an organization that was far more complex than what appeared on the surface. So we peeled the onion, layer by layer, in order to properly understand the business tycoon’s professional and personal avatars and where the two intersected. He was a man of many contradictions, and few can say that they knew the real Siddhartha. We hope to present a more complete picture in (the book).”

Anish Chandy said: “Rukmini Rao and Prosenjit Datta have drawn a fully accessible portrait of VG Siddhartha and his labyrinthine business empire through exacting research, drawing upon their multi-decade investigative journalism experience.”

Teesta Guha Sarkar said: “Consummate business journalists Rukmini Rao and Prosenjit Datta’s investigation into the life and death of one of India’s most intriguing business tycoons has culminated in a riveting, finely nuanced character study. The great depth of their research, combined with an empathetic approach, make this undoubtedly the most definitive book there may ever be on India’s coffee king.’

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