Business

The founder of India's biggest coffee chain has gone missing

Posted July 30, 2019 5:18 a.m. EDT

— The head of India's biggest coffee chain has gone missing.

Coffee Day Enterprises, the company that owns the Café Coffee Day chain, said on Tuesday that its chairman, V.G. Siddhartha, had "not been reachable" since the previous evening.

Siddhartha founded Coffee Day in 1993, and opened the first Café Coffee Day in the southern Indian city of Bangalore three years later. The company has since grown into India's biggest coffee chain, with over 1,700 outlets across 245 Indian cities as of last year.

Global rival Starbucks, in comparison, currently has 146 outlets in India.

Shares in Coffee Day Enterprises plunged 20% to a record low on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

"We are taking the help of concerned authorities," the company said in a statement. "[The company] is professionally managed and led by [a] competent leadership team, which will ensure continuity of business," it added.

The company could not immediately be reached for further comment.

Siddhartha owns 33% of Coffee Day Enterprises, according to a stock exchange filing last month, while his wife and family-owned entities hold another 21%. The company went public in 2015.

Coffee Day also has retail outlets in Austria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Malaysia and Nepal, and exports coffee to several markets including North America, Europe and the Middle East.