India’s Super-Rich Population To Triple In Five Years: Study

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The “super-rich” population in India – defined by having a minimum net worth of 250 million rupees ($5.6 million) – has grown by 30 percent to about 81,000 individuals over the last year, said a new study released this week as cited by the Wall Street Journal, with the combined net-worth of ultra-rich households now at 65 trillion rupees ($1.2 trillion).

The new Top of the Pyramid report by Kotak Wealth Management and ratings agency Crisil  claimed that over 50 percent of India’s super-rich were now residing in just four Indian cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai – and these individuals remained fairly immune to the effects of the nation’s economic slowdown.

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One distinct facet” of such a person, the report says, “is his lifestyle and he goes to great lengths to maintain it.”

“Our respondents did not seem to feel that the circumstances warranted any cutbacks in spending. In fact, many of them even justified the increase in expenditure, in absolute terms, by pointing out that the number of non-discretionary items too was on the rise, to support that lifestyle,” noted the report.

Additionally, the report also claimed that the ranks of the super-rich in India would triple to around 286,000 over the next five years, while their combined net-worth was likely to reach 318 trillion rupees ($5.78 trillion) – a five-fold increase.

The super-rich usually own three or four cars, “keeping with their lifestyle” and they “prefer to change cars frequently, to remain in vogue and give (themselves) the opportunity to outshine peers,” the report said.

Apart from cars, India’s super-rich also favoured clothes, luxury watches, diamonds and gold jewelry, the report suggests, with designer apparel and accessories topping their preferred purchases, followed by vintage spirits and precious stones.

Kotak Wealth Management and Crisil conducted the survey across the Indian cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata between last December and April this year and also interviewed 150 uber-rich individuals to understand their financial habits.

The report though noted that despite increases in wealth and spending, the amount given to philanthropy saw a decline – from more than 6 percent of their income given to charity in 2010 to just 4.4 percent last year.

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