Know How Malavika Hegde Heartbroken Wife and CEO Saved CCD From Dying
In 2019 the entire country was shocked to know about the suicide of V G Siddhartha, founder of India’s largest chain of coffee shops, Cafe Coffee Day. Soon after that, Malavika Hedge, Siddhartha’s wife, was appointed as the CEO of Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd (CDEL).
Many thought that the Coffee Day company would not survive after Siddhartha’s death and questions abounded as to who would continue to run the company after him. People believed the company could not recover because of the accumulated debt. Siddhartha wrote in his note: “My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody, I have failed as an entrepreneur.” But Malavika Hegde, wife of V G Siddhartha, has shattered all the suspicion and achieved a milestone by saving CCD from disappearing despite being a single woman
Malavika took over as CEO of Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd (CDEL). From that day on she worked tirelessly for the growth of the company. In 2019, Coffee Day had a debt of over Rs 7,000 crore. This was a huge burden for Malavika who was in grief after losing her husband. But she never gave up
According to Times of India: In a letter to the company’s 25,000 employees in 2020 before taking over as CEO of the company, Hegde wrote that she was committed to the future of the company and assured that the Coffee Day story was “worth preserving”. Her letter came hours after a probe revealed that a private entity owned by late founder Siddhartha owed Rs 2,693 crore to the listed entity, Coffee Day Enterprises Limited (CDEL). “We will work to reduce the debt to a manageable level by selling a few more investments as I am committed to the company’s future,” she wrote.
In another note written to all stakeholders and employees recently, Malavika declared that “they were able to achieve this unbelievable feat in two years without any favours from any lender, and she will not only repay every single penny back to them but also revive Cafe Coffee Day”
Miraculous recovery of CCD under the leadership of Malavika Hegde
CDEL had a debt of Rs 7000 crore as of March 31, 2019. But as per CDEL’s statement in August last year, the management was working hard to get the firm back on track after “substantial” debt reductions. It had mentioned in its annual report that its net debt was Rs 1,731 crore as of March 31, 2021. The report read, “The total loan funds stood at Rs 1,779 crore which comprises long-term borrowings of Rs 1,263 crore and short-term borrowings of Rs 516 crore.”
Malavika Hegde had several difficulties in her role, she had to lower the company’s debt, also take care of thousands of people’s jobs were on the line, and she had to keep the firm viable. Further CCD had to fight against its rising competitors like Starbucks and Barista
The tyranny of COVID-19 brought many businesses in India to their knees. But CCD maintained its growth even during the pandemic. The company-built relations with many new investors to infuse capital into their business. It took leverage of its existing brand image in India. With this image, the company was able to convince the investors that the brand of CCD was worth preserving.
Various measures were implemented taking into consideration the COVID safety protocols across the entire chain of cafes. This helped to bring the customers, who have always found a place for CCD in their hearts, back to the cafes. The company is said to have maintained its growth even as the pandemic brought many businesses to their knees in India.
Currently, Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) owns 572 cafes across the country, along with 333 CCD Value Express kiosks. It is a huge business with over 36,000 vending machines serving coffee to CCD customers.
Cafe Coffee Day and its new CEO’s success has given many people optimism and the story is widely shared in social media which has inspired many startups too