Café Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, who sold his 20.32 per cent stake in information technology services firm Mindtree to construction and technology giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T), for about Rs 3,270, has been an assiduous investor from a young age. The decision that fetched him nearly tenfold growth is only one of his many sagacious investment decisions that have catapulted him to become a billionaire with a net worth of about 1.2 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Beginning from 1999, Siddhartha systematically accumulated stake in the IT services start-up to become its single largest shareholder when he picked up a large chunk of equity that founder chairman Ashok Soota offloaded in 2012. According to a CNBC-TV18 report, Siddhartha's total investment amounted to Rs 340 crore.
There have been reports that the sale of the Mindtree stake will free Siddhartha of considerable debt burden and give him an opportunity to look at new investments. The 58-year-old investor-entrepreneur hails from Chikmagalur in Karnataka. After obtaining a Masters in economics from Mangalore University, Siddharatha started his career as a portfolio management trainee in JM Financial Ltd in Mumbai in 1983. After two years, Siddhartha returned to Bengaluru, bought a stock trading licence and Sivan Securities, which he renamed a Way2Wealth Securities Ltd, which has become a successful stockbroking firm.
Siddhartha started his coffee business in 1992 setting up a company Amalgamated Bean Company Trading, which was later renamed Coffee Day Global. Over the years, the company has become the top-most coffee producer that cultivates its own coffee and exports it as well as sells it in the domestic market. It was only natural that Siddhartha would launch a coffee chain in 1996 named Café Coffee Day. It has become India's biggest café chain with 1,750 outlets in 250 cities in India and with a presence in Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa. Siddhartha attributes the success of his coffee business to skill, technology, and innovation.
The Coffee Day group has acquired SICAL Logistics and Tanglin Developments that owns the Global Village tech park, apart from starting a company, Coffee Day Hotels & Resorts, which owns the Serai resorts that have luxury properties in Chikmagalur, Bandipur and Kabini. The Coffee Day Global website also lists investment in Global Edge Software Ltd, Ittiam Systems and Magnasoft.
A successful entrepreneur and investment banker, Siddhartha has not given any hint about his further plans, but business commentators believe he cannot remain quiet for too long now that the Mindtree is off his mind.