Who is Malavika Hegde?
Malavika Hedge is an Indian businesswoman. She is the wife of Late VG Siddhartha, who committed suicide on 29 July 2019. She is the daughter of the former Chief Minister of Karnataka Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna.
Malavika Hegde was born in 1969 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. She did her schooling from a local school of Bengaluru(also called Bangalore). She pursued engineering from Bangalore University. Malavika belongs to the Vokkaliga community. Her father, Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna, is a prominent Indian politician and has served on many important positions such as the Miniter of External Affairs and the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Her mother, Prema Krishna, is a social activist. She has a younger sister, Shambhavi Krishna, who is a businesswoman.
Malavika Krishna Hedge got married to the owner of the popular food chain Cafe Caffee Day (CCD), VG Siddhartha in 1991. They have two sons, Eshaan and Amartya.
VG Siddhartha went missing on 29 July 2019. He was on his way from Bengaluru to Sakleshpur with his driver. In the middle of the journey, Mr. Siddhartha asked his driver to drive towards Chikmagalur. When they were close to Chikmagalur, he asked his driver to stop near a bridge. He stepped out of the car, and he asked his driver to take the car to the end of the bridge and wait for him until he came towards him after a while.
His driver waited at the end of the bridge for an hour, and when he did not return, he called him up, but, his phone was switched off. The driver went back to the spot where he had left him and searched for him. When he was not able to find him, he called Malavika’s elder son and informed him about it, and then he rushed to the nearest police station and registered an FIR. The police began search operations on 30 July 2019.
On 31 July 2019, at 7:43 in the morning, police found a body in the Netravati River, which resembled VG Siddhartha His family was called for the verification of the body. Malavika was also one of the people present for the verification. When the verification and the paperwork were done, his body was taken to his office in Chikmagalur. Malavika decided that Siddhartha’s funeral will take place at the coffee estate of Siddhartha’s father in Belur Taluk; as it was the place where Siddhartha decided to be an entrepreneur.
Malavika Hedge was involved in the coffee business since she was married to VG Siddhartha. She was on the Cafe Coffee Day board, but she was a non-executive board member. The day when VG Siddhartha narrated his idea about CCD (Cafe Coffee Day), she dismissed it; as Siddhartha wanted to sell a cup of coffee for 25 INR, whereas, it was available locally for 5 INR per cup. When Siddhartha modified the idea, and he planned to offer internet surfing along with coffee, she was on board, and they started planning the opening of the first CCD together. In 1996, when the first CCD outlet opened in Brigade Road in Bangalore, she was present with VG Siddhartha. The coffee king also had an interest in the Indian hospitality sector.
Once, in an interview, she mentioned that during the construction of their first CCD store in Bangalore, they would look out the windows and used to play a game and guess who would come in their cafe. Although VG Siddhartha was an active board member, Malavika has been handling the daily operations of CCD since 2008.
Coffee Day Enterprises appointed Malavika Hegde as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from December 7. Malavika Hegde, will now be in charge for at least five years. She will operate from Bengaluru headquarter. The company’s board approved the appointment of CH Vasudhara Devi, Mohan Raghavendra Kondi, and Giri Devanur as independent directors. CCD has around 1,700 cafes, around 48,000 vending machines, 532 kiosks and 403 ground coffee selling outlets.
Here are some important facts of Malavika Hegde to check:-
- She is a board member of CCD, but, she does not draw a salary; as she is a non-executive board member.
- She has 4% of the equity shares in CCD.
- Malavika Hegde is a nature lover and she loves to plant trees. Along with her husband, she has planted more than 3000 trees.
- According to Times of India: In a letter to the company’s 25,000 employees on July 24, 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.
- After Siddhartha’s death by suicide, Malavika Hegde managed to reduce his debt even during the COVID lockdown. She had earlier said that the challenges increased but “somewhere along the way in the last 12 months, my mission has been to uphold the proud legacy of Siddhartha. He has left me a job to do, to settle every lender to the best of my ability, to grow the business and to enthuse and foster our employees.”