It is difficult to recover from the devastating loss of a life partner. Malavika Hegde, though, stepped up and wrote a stunning comeback narrative.

A whole generation was inspired by the creator of Cafe Coffee Day, VG Siddhartha, for building a world-class Indian company that could compete with global juggernauts. But his terrible demise in July 2019 stunned the entire country. His company has a staggering debt of Rs 7,000 crore. Business observers felt it was the start of CCD’s demise. Siddhartha’s collapse raised serious doubts about the brand’s ability to survive the financial crisis. Introducing Malavika Hegde.

It is difficult to recover from the devastating loss of a life partner. Malavika Hegde, Siddhartha’s wife, stepped up and took control of the company. Around the end of 2020, the mother of two was appointed CEO of Coffee Day Enterprises Limited (CDEL), a subsidiary of CCD. She gave her almost 25,000 coworkers at CCD assurances that she would strive to keep the brand alive.

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Malavika made the decision to consolidate the company as a result of the business’s growing debt and the Covid-19 pandemic. She made astute business choices that penned a stunning turnaround for the brand. Malavika made a significant decision not to raise the cost of a number of items with a focus on debt reduction and ensuring the brand survives.

She reduced operations by leaving stores and places that weren’t making money for the company. CCD presently has 469 outlets in FY23 compared to 1,752 in FY19, which is less than one-third. Through her efforts, the debt was reduced from Rs 1,731 crore in March 2021 to Rs 465.25 crore in 2023.

Malavika’s “mission has been to uphold the proud legacy” of her late husband, in her own words. Malavika hails from an illustrious family; her father, SM Krishna, was the previous chief minister of Karnataka.