Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) on Wednesday changed its red logo to black background with text in white across social networking platforms in remembrance of its founder late VG Siddhartha.
The remains of the 60-year-old businessman were recovered from the banks of the Netravati river in Mangalore -- almost two days after his disappearance.
In memory of its late founder, the official handles of CCD that has over 4.9 million likes on Facebook, over a lakh followers on Instagram and over eight lakh followers on Twitter replaced its profile pictures to the black and white logo.
CCD came into existence in 1996 and quickly became an integral part of the younger society of Indian millennials and Gen Z.
With over 5,096 tweet mentions, #RIPSiddhartha was trending on Twitter.
"#VGSiddhartha founded Cafe Coffee Day, which introduced Karnataka's coffee to the whole of India, created thousands of jobs and helped millions to write and start their life's beautiful stories. 'A lot can happen over a coffee' but nobody ever expected this. #RIPSiddhartha," a user wrote.
"Thank you VG Siddhartha sir for giving such a wonderful coffee Shop #CafeCoffeeDay. Lots of lovely memories are now swinging in my mind which I had enjoyed at your franchise. You will be missed sir. #RIPSiddhartha," another tweet read.
Cafe Coffee Day published a heart-felt note on its Instagram handle alongside its late founder's picture.
"We remember our beloved Chairman VG Sidhartha whit pride and will miss him dearly. We stand committed to his vision and will continue building on his legacy," the note reads.
Several users commented on the coffee chain's Instagram post, expressing condolences.
"The demise of the Founder of India's largest coffee chain brings light into a whole new perspective of tax-terrorism in India," a user posted.
A letter, VG Sidhartha left behind to his employees before disappearing -- that has been making the rounds on media platforms -- reveals that Siddhartha was in deep debt. The mountain of debt was impairing his business as working capital requirements could not be met. It led him to sale his stakes in IT firm Mindtree that gave him some room to maneuver.
Siddhartha to be cremated at his coffee estate in Karnataka
The body of Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder V.G. Siddhartha was on Wednesday afternoon took to Chattanahalli, his village, in Karnataka's Chikkamagaluru district. The last rites would be performed at one of his coffee estates by evening, a family source said.
"The flower-decked cortege with his body in a glass-cased coffin was brought to the estate from Mangaluru after the autopsy at a state-run hospital," the source told IANS on phone.
The coffee estate is 150 km from Mangaluru and 250 km northwest of Bengaluru in the biodiverse Western Ghats of the state. The body was taken to the Coffee Day Global Enterprises office in Chikkamgaluru town on way to the village.
"Hundreds of people, including women and elders from the surrounding towns and villages, thronged the estate in the Mudigeree taluk for the last glimpse of the coffee baron and pay homage to him," the source said.
After two fishermen found the body floating in the backwaters of the Netravathi river earlier in the day, the police shifted the body to Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru for post-mortem. "The Siddhartha's body was handed over to his family after the autopsy," said the source.
Siddhartha's father-in-law S.M. Krishna and mother-in-law Prema flew to Chikkamagaluru from Bengaluru, while other family members and relatives have also reached the estate for the last rites.
"As a holiday has been declared for the day in all the coffee estates of the district, hundreds of plantation workers and owners have come to pay their respects to Siddhartha, who generated thousands of direct and indirect jobs in his 12,000-acre coffee estates and 1,751 retail chain outlets across the country over the last two decades," the source said.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa also flew from Bengaluru to attend the last rites and console the bereaved family members.
Siddhartha went missing on Monday night and was suspected to have committed suicide by jumping off the bridge.
Coffee Day Board appoints S.V. Ranganath as interim chairman
The board of Coffee Day Enterprises on Wednesday appointed S.V. Ranganath as its interim chairman after the police in Mangaluru earlier recovered the body of its founding Chairman V.G. Siddhartha almost 36 hours after he went missing.
The board in its meeting, which commenced at 10.30 a.m. and went on till 1 p.m., also decided to appoint Nitin Bagmane as the interim Chief Operating Officer (COO), a company statement said.
"Constitution of an Executive Committee comprising S.V. Ranganath (Non-Executive Independent Director), Nitin Bagmane (COO) and R. Ram Mohan (CFO) to exercise the powers previously vested with the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and the Administrative Committee constituted by the Board in 2015," it said.
The board will, in due course, prepare a detailed charter of authorities vested in the executive committee and approve the same, the statement said, adding that the executive committee will, inter alia, explore opportunities to deleverage the Coffee Day Group.
After Cafe Coffee Day owner went missing late on Monday, his body was fished out of the Netravathi river in Karnataka by a group of fishermen, some distance away from the bridge where the coffee baron was last seen.
The company further said that the board took cognizance of statements in the purported letter from Siddhartha relating to financial transactions outside the knowledge of the senior management, auditors and the board.
"While the authenticity of the letter is unverified and it is unclear whether these statements pertain to the company or the personal holdings of V.G. Siddhartha, the board took serious note of the same and resolved to thoroughly investigate this matter."
Condoling Siddhartha's demise the board said that it had resolved to lend its "support and expressed full confidence" in the company's management team.
The Board also took note of a message from Siddhartha's wife Malavika Hegde expressing support and trust in the company's professional team and the common effort to look after the interest of the employees and all other stakeholders, said the statement.