Bengaluru: “I have failed as an entrepreneur,” VG Siddhartha, who has gone missing, has said in a letter purportedly written to the Board of Directors and employees of Coffee Day Enterprises that he founded.
“After 37 years, with strong commitment to hard work, having directly created 30,000 jobs in our companies and their subsidiaries, as well as 20,000 jobs in technology company where I have been a large shareholder since its founding, I have failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts”, Siddhartha said. “I would like to say I gave it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people who have put their trust in me,” he said in the letter, widely circulated in the social media.
There was no immediate confirmation on whether the letter was indeed written by Siddhartha.
Siddhartha said he had fought for a long time but “today I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend”. He said, “Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me (sic) succumbing to the situation.”
Siddhartha alleged in the letter that there was a lot of harassment from the previous DG Income Tax in the form of attaching “our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking possession of our Coffee Day shares, although revised returns have been filed by us”, adding, “This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch.”
“I sincerely request each of you to be strong and to continue running these businesses with a new management. I am solely responsible for all mistakes. Every financial transaction is my responsibility,” Siddhartha said adding his team, auditors and senior management were “unaware” of his transactions.
Siddhartha said the law should hold him accountable, as he had withheld this information from everybody including his family. Claiming that his intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody, he said, “I have failed as an entrepreneur. This is my sincere submission. I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me”.
Siddhartha said, “… our assets outweigh our liabilities and can help repay everybody”.
Siddhartha, the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna, was reported to have gone missing after he left from Bengaluru on Monday night, police said.