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Sunday Times 2

Present wealth of India’s uber rich stands at $1.2 trillion

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Prosperous India is growing by leaps and bounds despite the worldwide economic slowdown.
The uber rich are getting richer at the top of the pyramid, many are clones of Richie Rich and the slowdown has not altered their lifestyle or spending patterns and habits one bit.

The net worth of ultra rich households in the country is expected to surge five-fold from Rs65 trillion ($1.2 trillion) in 2011-12 to Rs318 trillion ($5.78 trillion) by 2016-17, according to a joint report by CRISIL and Kotak Wealth.
Pertinently, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is Rs82 trillion ($1.5 trillion).
Over 50 per cent of these ultra-high net worth households (HNHs) are in the four metros. The other top six cities account for around 13 per cent and the next 40 cities are home to about 15 per cent.

The rest are spread across the remaining parts of the country, the report states.
However, casting a dampener, V.K. Sharma at HDFC Securities, said: ‘I don’t think the upbeat mood and spending trend is across the board. There is a marked shift in sentiment due to the slowdown. A segment of HNIs (high net worth individuals) are spending, but not all. Those who were splurging earlier are now merely spending. The ultra HNIs maintained their lifestyle for social standing. Last year, destination weddings were the in-thing; this year throwing lavish parties for ad hoc events such as business success or launch parties have instead become a new area of spending.

Professor Sri Ram Khanna of the Delhi School of Economics: ‘The better offs continue to prosper in a slowodwn and are largely immune to it. The risk of growth depends on the income levels. The lower your income, the more you are at risk to fall. The rich and those affluent will otherwise continue to prosper. It is a global phenomenon.’

Daily Mail, London

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