Cafe Coffee Day: India’s first coffee chain in 1996

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Cafe Coffee Day

What are you sipping right now? Coffee!

You are spellbound by its aroma, right!

Yeah, it happens with most of us. The taste and aroma are too good to be ignored.

So why not do some little “coffee” history before moving on to Cafe Coffee Day while you are still holding and enjoying your hot coffee.

History of Coffee

History of Coffee

The history of coffee is a fascinating story. The coffee bean has traveled the globe for centuries, being smuggled out of strict countries, stolen from royalty and has changed entire nations and economies.

Coffee has spread around the world to become one of the most consumed drinks in the world.

The history of coffee begins with a goat farmer in Ethiopia.

According to legend—and this is the most commonly cited story of coffee’s origin—the energizing effects of the coffee bean were first noticed by a goat herder called Kaldi, who lived on the Ethiopian plateau way back during the 9th century.

One day Kaldi noticed that after some of his heard had grazed on the bright red cherry of the coffee plant they seemed to possess boundless energy, certainly more than the rest of his animals. As the story goes, this left them too energized to fall asleep at night, as their bundles of energy had them bounding all over the place.

From here, Kaldi tried the beans himself and found that they really were very invigorating. He chose to share his new discovery with the local monastery, who disregarded his anecdotes and threw the beans in the fire. A delectable aroma quickly began rising from the fire, and the beans were scrapped out for further investigation.

The monks then chose to crush the beans and add them to water. To their surprise, and joy, they found that the beverage gave them the same energy and vigor that it gave Kaldi and his goats, allowing them to stay awake and alert for evening mass. These monks passed their findings on to other monks and monasteries and so began the journey of coffee!

How Coffee came to India

History of Coffee in India

The first recorded appearance of coffee in India was 1670 before the establishment of the East India Trading Company. An Indian Sufi saint named Baba Budan brought coffee beans to the country on his return trip from Yemen, specifically to Chikmagalur, a town in the south of India.

Coffee cultivation was seriously undertaken in the 18th Century by British entrepreneurs who turned forests in Southern India into commercial coffee plantations.

“Coffee was an established commercial crop by the turn of the 19th Century and was exported to Europe via London,” said Anil Bhandari, president of the India Coffee Trust, a nonprofit organization that promotes coffee consumption.

Coffee grown in the forests of India, the world’s sixth largest producer of coffee, is cultivated under thick canopies in the Western Ghats — a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots.

Currently, a large portion of India’s coffee production is made in the hilly region of Southern India. Primarily, Karnataka accounts for 53%, followed by Kerala at 28% and Tamil Nadu at 11%. Other states in India grow coffee, such as Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, as well as what is known as the “Seven Sister States of India” in Northeastern India because of their political, social, and economic similarities: Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.

The coffee market in India has been growing due to the demand for ready to drink coffee and has become a part of an individual’s daily consumption basket. Due to changing cultures, consumers are becoming aware of domestic and foreign brands, which are boosting the consumption levels.

The export promotion schemes and other subsidies by the GOI, and increasing trend of eating out coupled with the rising share of young population has driven the market. This gave the right opportunity for the rise and establishment of coffee chain, Cafe Coffee Day.

The beginning of Cafe Coffee Day

Cafe Coffee Day Beginning
Cafe Coffee Day Beginning

Cafe Coffee Day was the first-ever coffee chain opened in India.

Veerappa Gangaiah Siddhartha Hegde  a.k.a V. G. Siddhartha was the man behind making coffee popular in a nation of tea-lovers. The herculean task of the cafe coffee chain was to make a ground-breaking change in the Indian culture where the majority of the population preferred drinking tea over coffee.

Cafe Coffee Day, popularly known as CCD, is a Bangalore-based business which grows coffee in its own estates of 20,000 acres. It is the largest producer of arabica beans in Asia, exporting to various countries including U.S., Europe, and Japan.

Parent CompanyCoffee Day Global
CategoryCoffee joints
SectorFood Products
Tagline/ SloganA lot can happen over coffee
USP   Most recognizable and affordable brand in India
Segment People looking to go to have a coffee and  snacks at a hangout place
Target GroupYouth, college students, young generation
PositioningIndia’s favorite coffee shop, for the young and the young at heart

V. G. Siddhartha, started the Cafe chain in 1996 when he incorporated Coffee Day Global, which is the parent of the Coffee Day chain. The first Cafe Coffee Day outlet was set up on July 11, 1996, at Brigade Road, Bangalore, Karnataka. It rapidly expanded to other cities in India, with more than 1,000 Cafes open across the nation by 2011.

In 2010, it was announced that a consortium led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts would invest Rs.1,000 crore in Coffee Day Resorts, owned by the company. The same year, the logo was changed to the current logo, which the company stated was to showcase the chain as a place to talk. This was done with major changes in the layout of the stores, including the addition of lounges and a total revamp of the interiors.

CCD’s quirky and refreshing tagline “A lot can happen over coffee” touched the hearts of millions of Indian youth, giving a message to them that all they need is a cup of coffee and a peaceful place to talk about what they like most.

Coupling with youth’s massive social media presence and their new found love of social media shopping, further strengthen CCD’s market.

Awards and Certifications

2007: Cafe Coffee Day won the Times Food Award under the category of “Best Coffee Bar” from Times of India.

2008: Cafe Coffee Day won the Burrper’s Choice Award for being voted as the “Coolest Cafe” by users of burrp.com.

2009: Coffee Day Global won the award for “Retailer of the Year” under the category of Food& Beverages (catering services) by Asia Retail Congress.

2010: Cafe Coffee Day won the Indian Hospitality Excellence Award under the category of “India’s Most Popular Coffee Joint: 2010.”

2012: Cafe Coffee Day was ranked as 26th Most Trusted Service Brand in India and as 2nd Most Exciting Brand under the category of “Food Services” in India under a survey done by Brand Equity (Economic Times).

More Awards and Certifications here.

Sad end of the Cafe Coffee Day Founder

It was the biggest and the most tragic news of the year 2019 when Cafe Coffee Day founder—V. G. Siddhartha—committed suicide!

He was reported missing by his driver on 29th July 2019. On 30th July 2019, Cafe Coffee Day Enterprises confirmed that its Managing Director, V.G. Siddhartha, has been missing since 29th July and the company, with the help of concerned authorities, were tracing him.

After two days i.e. on 31st July 2019, his body was found by three fishermen at the Hoige Bazaar beach, near the mouth of the river Nethravati.

V.G. Siddhartha left a letter allegedly wrote to Coffee Day Enterprises board, he says that he “failed to create the profitable business model despite my best efforts. I would never cheat or mislead anybody intentionally, I have failed as an entrepreneur.”

News reports say the man who made coffee popular in a nation of tea-lovers referred to three main issues in his letter to the board:

“Pressure from private equity partners forcing him to buy back shares”

“Harassment from the previous DG income tax” and

“Tremendous pressure from other lenders.”

Conclusion

Cafe Coffee Day was a successful and innovative idea by late V.G. Siddhartha. It captivated the youth of the nation like no other company. It became such a huge success that soon it opened its retail chains across the nation.

People were enjoying their personal space in its outlets with variety of coffee to choose from to suite their taste.

CCD has proven itself a great business model and revenue model. Even after the sad demise of its Founder, the company managed to stay as lively as it was during its early days.

Sachin Vishwakarma

Sachin Vishwakarma

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