Bengaluru: Gangaiah Hegde, father of late Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Siddhartha, who committed suicide in July, passed away in a hospital in Mysuru, on Sunday.

The 96-year-old was admitted to the city’s Shanthaveri Gopala Gowda hospital, which is run by a relative of Siddhartha’s father-in-law and former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna,  nearly two weeks before his son’s suicide. He was hospitalised over age-related issues and was not informed about his son’s tragic death.

The CCD founder, too, had visited his father in the hospital and was said to be in tears on seeing his father’s deteriorating health.

Gangaiah Hegde was a wealthy coffee planter and a highly revered person in Chikmagalur district. He was known for his discipline and had earned the respect of the people. In fact, until a few years back, he used to himself visit the local market to purchase groceries. He was also said to be a huge influence on the life of his son, who was his only child.

VG Siddhartha founded the Cafe Coffee Day in 1993 and opened its first outlet in July 1996 in Brigade Road, Bengaluru. As of 2018, the company had 1,722 café outlets in over 200 cities of India and is especially popular among the youth.

He went missing on July 29, near a bridge over the Nethravati river in Mangaluru and his body was found two days later. In a letter that surfaced hours after he went missing, he apologised to his family and employees for ‘letting them down’. He also alleged harassment at the hands of the Income Tax (IT) Department.