The 1%: Decoding the Super rich

December 17, 2013 at 6:35 am Leave a comment

They go by many names; The Plutocrats, The 1% or simply, The Super Rich; but estimates regarding their riches and buying power have remained in the realm of conjecture. Until now, that is.

In the interest of those as curious as us about the lives and times of the super rich, we are doing an exclusive three post feature on the swish set. In this post, we shall try and estimate the magnitude of their wealth and influence. In the next two, we shall try and analyze their consumption habits and also figure out what marketers the world over are doing to cater to this segment and what are the opportunities that exist.

The Global Wealth Report published by Credit Suisse estimates that approximately 3.2 million people (0.7% of the world’s population) control 41% of its wealth. Contrast this with the 3.2 billion who live on only 3% of its wealth and the inequities at play become apparent. In Russia, for instance, 110 people control 35% of the nation’s wealth!

Global Wealth Pyramid

The Occupy Wall Street Movement has been credited with bringing this issue to the masses with their revolutionary slogan, “We are the 99%”. In recent times, there have been major protests in the west regarding the magnitude of compensation received by the CEOs of banks and other major financial institutions. Governments have been trying to resolve these issues by increasing taxes and introducing such concepts as Wealth Tax and Property Tax to re-distribute income but the Super rich are only getting richer, and smarter.

Wealth-X, a research and consulting firm dedicated to the super-rich defines the UHNWI (Ultra High Net-worth Individuals) as anyone with a net household income more than $30 million, excluding the value of the individual’s current place of residence. According to the World Ultra Wealth Report published by Wealth-X in association with UBS, the net worth of the UHNWI  is estimated at a whopping $28 trillion. This values the combined wealth of these 200,000 people at more than the combined GDPs of the US ($15 trillion) and China ($7 trillion). Thus, 0.04% of the world’s population controls approximately 12% of its wealth!

India is home to 7850 of these UHNWIs, worth approximately $935 billion (~60% of GDP) and has registered the highest increase in the number of dollar millionaires over in the last year among the BRICS. It is also home to the largest number of female millionaires in the world (1250) worth approximately $95 billion. A city-wise analysis shows that more than 90% of India’s UHNW population lives in top 10 cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Gurgaon and Jaipur. Mumbai and Delhi, however, dominate with more than 50% of the country’s UHNW population based in one of these two cities.

We will talk about the spending power and consumption habits of these super-rich individuals in our next post.

  • Rahul Sharma
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Entry filed under: Consumer Segments, Economic and Social Development, Evolving India, India Stats, Luxury Goods. Tags: , , , .

Mine Healthier Than Yours Consumption and the Super Rich

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