July 31 (UPI) -- The founder of a popular Indian coffee shop chain was found dead Wednesday morning ashore the Netravati River in Mangaluru after he is believed to have jumped into the water Monday night.
Siddhartha's family had been in the coffee planting business for about 130 years before he struck out on his own to start Café Coffee Day in 1996 after briefly working for an Indian stock market firm. He turned the coffee outlet into the largest coffee chain in India.
Cafe Coffee Day has about 1,700 cafes, 48,000 vending machines, 532 kiosks and 403 ground coffee outlets today.
"Today we remember the legend that inspired us all," Café Coffee Day said on Twitter Wednesday. "Thank you Chairman VG Siddhartha for your vision, leadership and the great legacy."
Despite Café Coffee Day's success, the company faced problems with the Indian tax authorities, which led to the raid of its offices in 2017. Siddhartha struggled to pay lenders earlier this year.
The company released a letter Tuesday Siddhartha allegedly wrote to the board of directors claiming he was facing "a lot of harassment" from the tax authorities and he took responsibility for "all mistakes."