A lot has changed since Monday for Cafe Coffee Day. Its founder VG Siddhartha, who went missing on Monday, was found dead on Wednesday morning.
Even though Coffee Day Enterprises is going through a change at the top level, those working in its 1500-plus cafes are not worried about their jobs.
In a letter, purportedly written by VG Siddhartha himself, he had mentioned financial troubles and how he failed as a entrepreneur. Over the past few months, he was desperately trying to pare down the company debt, which as per estimates currently stands at roughly Rs 6,500 crore. The stock of the company too, has been on a downward spiral.
However, despite all of this, employees with whom TNM spoke to, believe business will carry on as usual. This even though they say they have not received any official communication from their higher-ups.
A member of the service team at MG Roadâ€™s Spencer Building outlet in Bengaluru, said, â€śWe have heard everything from news reports only. But there is nothing to fear, there are many people in the company. Do you see any change in business? People are coming in as usual.â€ť
Similarly, an employee at Santhome High Road Branch in Chennai said that so far no new official announcements have come from the Head Office. â€śThere have been no issues regarding payment of salary to the CCD employees. We have been paid well while Siddhartha sir was alive and we are sure there will be no problems regarding that even after his demise.â€ť
These views were echoed by the staff at Hyderabadâ€™s Begumpet as well.
Karan Sharma*, a store manager who manages two stores in Bengaluru, said, â€śIt is very sad that he is no more. But we have strong leadership and there is no reason to lose hope. I can tell you no one is thinking that they will be left unpaid. It will be the same as it used to be. No staff in two of the stores have asked me this question. There might be some changes in top-level but there wonâ€™t be any changes at the basic level. We will continue with the blessings of Siddhartha sir.â€ť
VG Siddhartha was reported missing since Monday evening after he disappeared near the Nethravathi bridge in Mangaluru. His body was recovered at 6.30am on Wednesday morning, around 9 km away from the bridge. Following his death, the Board appointed its erstwhile Non-Executive Independent Director SV Ranganath as the interim chairman. Nitin Bagmane who was the Chairman of Coffee Day's real estate arm Tanglin has been appointed as the interim chief operating officer (COO).
(With inputs from Mithin K and Anjana Sekhar)