India is the world’s third biggest economy; however, it has one of the worst records in the trickle-down of wealth. As of last year, for every one billionaire in India there were just 26 ultra high net worth individuals (UHNIs), those whose net assets are over $30 million, excluding their primary residence.
In Japan, for every billionaire there were 609 UHNIs. Among comparable emerging markets, Brazil has 129 millionaires for every billionaire while for South Africa the number stands at 119. Globally, for every one billionaire there are 100 UHNIs. China and Malaysia are the two other countries comparable to India where the ratio of billionaires to millionaires is 1:44 and 1:37, respectively.
Data from the Wealth Report 2014 shows that the Indian wealth is highly concentrated among few of the country’s richest gentry. Wealth has a tilt towards billionaires who are in turn making no efforts to produce more millionaires. This clearly indicates that although economic growth has been there but only a partial economic growth.
The report estimates that in the last decade (2003 to 2013) the number of billionaires in India grew from 23 to 60, a jump of 161%, and the number of UHNIs grew from 598 to 1,576, up 164%. Mumbai accounts for close to 37% of this wealth, while Delhi accounts for 9%.
The report also brought a great hope for a better Indian economy in future. By 2023, India will probably achieve the fourth largest concentration of billionaires in the world, behind the United States, China, and Russia. Last year, the country had the sixth largest pool of billionaires. The number of centa-millionaires (those with $100 million in disposable assets) in India will see a growth from 99 per cent to 761 in 2023 from 383 last year.
The growth of UHNWIs in China and India, together with a massive 144 per cent increase in Indonesia and 166 per cent hike in Vietnam, will help thrust the total number of UHNWIs in Asia up by 43 per cent to 58,588 by 2023, surpassing the total number in North America.
Over the next decade, Asian number of billionaires is likely to go past that of European billionaires. Mumbai will see the fourth highest rate of growth in its UHNWI population between 2013 and 2023, with this number increasing 126 per cent to 1302 in 2023 from 577 last year.