The year that went by since our inaugural report has been a difficult one, to say the least. The sovereign debt crisis in Europe erupted and Greece was the first to implode under the weight of its huge debt. Subsequently, other major European countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and France have been dragged, in varying degrees, into the quagmire caused by the crisis.
The casualty has been world economic growth and large-scale wealth destruction for many. Being intrinsically linked to the world economy, India and Indian industry too felt the heat of the crisis. The phenomenal growth seen in the country in the last few years in the number of the super rich hit the pause button due to the slowdown, as the Forbes Billionaires List 2012 indicates.
In the inaugural report, we had established the broad framework and expounded the methodology to define who an ultra high net worth individual (ultra HNI) is. And, instead of focusing the spotlight that year on their numbers and the size of their wealth, we had looked at behavioral aspects, such as what drives these individuals, their priorities or motives when it comes to spending or investing and whether there was any homogeneity in their actions as a class.
In the light of our understanding of their behavior, we have tried to understand how the ultra HNIs fared during the slowdown. The conclusions were extremely enlightening, and gave us an interesting insight into their mindset and actions during times of adversity. More importantly, many of the conclusions that we drew last year have been validated successfully.
For both wealth managers and luxury product makers, intimate knowledge on the earning, spending and investing behavior of the super wealthy is a pre-requisite for their success. We believe that this year too, the learning’s gleaned from our survey will be invaluable for people who manage the wealth of the ultra rich, and will help niche companies operating in the segment expand their product line and also come up with more innovative marketing or distribution strategies for their products.
It was last year that Kotak Wealth and CRISIL Research seized the opportunity to release a report that analyses and tracks ultra HNI trends with specific reference to the Indian market. In that context, this year, we looked at two sectors in some detail: cars and education. Again, the results were extremely revealing.
Click here to view this report.
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