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India Inc remembers Siddhartha as a humble man

New Delhi: Industry captains on Wednesday paid rich tributes to V G Siddhartha, founder of India’s biggest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day, remembering his entrepreneurial spirit and humble nature but also cautioned entrepreneurs not to let failures destroy their self-esteem.

Industry leaders such as Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon, automobile czar Anand Mahindra, Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Sachin Bansal of Ola and IT honcho C P Gurnani remembered Siddhartha as a “humble and soft speaking” man.

The body of the Cafe Coffee Day founder was found on Wednesday in the Netravati river in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka after 36 hours of intense search. In a tweet, Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said, “My deepest condolences to VG Siddhartha’s widow Malavika and his sons and to S M Krishna and family. RIP.”

Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya said Siddhartha was an “Excellent human and brilliant entrepreneur”. However, Mallya added that he was “devastated with the contents of his letter”. “The Govt agencies and banks can drive anyone to despair. See what they are doing to me despite offer of full repayment. Vicious and unrelenting,” he tweeted.

Siddhartha had in a purported letter written by him indicated that pressure from banks, a private equity investor and tax authorities drove him to end his life. Karti P Chidambaram, son of Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, who is facing ED probe in the Aircel Maxis case, said the government agencies are the biggest impediments to ease of business.

“Managing the systematic harassment by the State n it’s pliant agencies is the biggest challenge. IT, ED, CBI, ROC etc are the biggest impediments for ease of business,” Karti said. Meanwhile, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said entrepreneurs must not allow business failures to destroy their self-esteem.

“I did not know him & have no knowledge of his financial circumstances. I only know that entrepreneurs must not allow business failure to destroy their self-esteem. That will bring about the death of entrepreneurship,” said Mahindra.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted that he was “saddened beyond words.” Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal said that Siddhartha was an “inspiring entrepreneur and investor”. “I had known #VGSiddhartha personally and was always amazed at his energy and positivity,” Bansal added.

Tech Mahindra MD and CEO CP Gurnani, while saluting his entrepreneurship, said it was a “Very sad day”. ” Some of us were daydreaming that he may not have jumped off the bridge. Wish he had stayed alive to fight. My heart goes out to his family,” he said.

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