Industry

V.G. Siddhartha’s furniture venture shuts down

Employees stand outside the Dark Forest Furniture Company (DAFFCO), owned by Cafe Coffee Day, following its shutdown due to financial constraints, in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, on November 25, 2019.

Employees stand outside the Dark Forest Furniture Company (DAFFCO), owned by Cafe Coffee Day, following its shutdown due to financial constraints, in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, on November 25, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Daffco cites financial crisis for closure, employees terminated.

Dark Forest Furniture Co. (Daffco), a firm promoted by coffee baron V. G. Siddhartha who passed away under tragic circumstances this year, closed its operations on Monday.

Daffco had designed and developed hardwood furniture for all Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) outlets, the CCD Group’s hospitality venture Serai properties and external clients.

The firm informed the 65 employees working at the furniture factory in Chikkamagaluru that it was shutting down.

It said after the tragic demise of Mr. Siddhartha, the company faced financial constraints. Though efforts were made to revive the business, they did not yield much result. The company was going through an acute financial crisis due to lack of orders, it added. It also said it was terminating all its employees with immediate effect. Set up in February 2010, Daffco was emerging as one of the country’s largest integrated wood processing plants with ultra modern and automated production lines and state-of-the art machinery.

Mr. Siddhartha planned to build his furniture business into the country’s largest designer furniture outfit. Some years ago, he had even signed a 30-year lease agreement with the Republic of Guyana in South America to source logs from Amazonian forestland. The idea was to transport cut logs on chartered ships from the Guyanese capital, Georgetown, to the New Mangalore Port and then to the Chikkamagaluru facility. Under this agreement, Daffco was planning to bring hardwood varieties such as Greenheart, Purpleheart, Wallaba and Bullet Wood grown in Amazon forests via sea route to India.

In an earlier conversation, Mr. Siddhartha had told these correspondents, “The idea of a furniture business [came] up in one of my morning walks through coffee estates. We have a lot of hardwood trees, silver oak, teak wood, rose wood and mahogany trees, in the estate, some of them fallen and getting wasted. I thought a venture around these dead trees would create jobs for hundreds of people.”

In the initial years, Daffco remained a captive unit catering exclusively to the furniture and wood requirements of the group’s cafe and hospitality businesses. All the furniture and wood used in Cafe Coffee Day outlets and Serai hotel properties across the country are made of wood sourced from the company’s 15,000-acre of coffee plantations.

Later, the company expanded rapidly, getting into a wide range of furniture: modern, classic, ethnic, lounge, lifestyle, leisure and entertainment. It also manufactured all kinds of plywoods, wooden panels and beadings from wood waste and saw powder.

When Mr. Siddhartha ventured into this sector almost a decade ago, the country had only a handful of players — Godrej, Wipro, Featherlite, Durian etc — in the organised furniture business. Today, the furniture sector is cluttered with a couple of dozen new and value-added players, including Urban Ladder and Pepperfry.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:27:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/vg-siddharthas-furniture-venture-shuts-down/article30079169.ece

Next Story