Names like Ambanis and Mittals making to global rich lists every now and then notwithstanding, India accounts for just about one per cent of the worldwide wealth market size of over $100 trillion.
According to the latest wealth report by global consultancy major Boston Consulting Group, the global wealth market grew to $109.5 trillion in 2007, up 4.9 per cent over the previous year. While noting that the wealth market is growing rapidly in India, the report said that the country accounts for only a small fraction of the global market with a size of $ 1.4 trillion.
BCG has calculated the wealth market size on the basis of Asset Under Management (AUM), which includes cash deposits, money market funds, listed securities held directly or indirectly through managed investments and onshore and offshore assets. It excludes wealth attributed to investors’ own businesses, houses or luxury goods.
As per the study, India’s wealth market, despite being underdeveloped and relatively small, is attractive enough to be competitive.
According to a list of the world’s richest billionaires released by “Forbes” earlier this year, the number of billionaires in India has gone up to 53, from 36 last year. Collectively, the 53 Indian billionaires command a net worth of over $ 340 billion. Besides, there are three resident Indians – Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani and K P Singh – among the 10 richest persons in the world, according to “Forbes”.
In another report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini in June, India was identified as the fastest growing population of millionaires. The number of HNIs (high net worth individuals or those having net assets of at least one million dollar excluding own houses and consumables) in India grew by 22.3 per cent in 2007 to 1,23,000 last year.
BCG report notes that low barriers to entry have resulted in increased competition and a broad range of offerings in Indian wealth market. Most of the wealth in the country is invested in property or gold and is self-managed, it added.
The total wealth stood at $ 25.5 trillion in the Asia-Pacific region with Japan accounting for nearly half the total amount. Nonetheless, India and China clocked the fastest growth in AUM in the region.
“Entrepreneurs represent the region’s most prominent client segment. They tend to have a high appetite for risk and are quite speculative, and they trust cash more than any other type of asset,” the report said.
BCG, however, pointed out that several markets including India are facing acute shortage of Relationship Managers (RMs). “Owing to increased competition, India’s shortage of seasoned RMs is acute. This situation has led to high attrition rates, increased compensation and hiring of young, inexperienced RMs,” the report noted.
Globally, North America (comprising the US and Canada) emerged as the wealthiest region, with AUM to the tune of $ 39.2 trillion, followed by Europe with $ 38.3-trillion AUM.
Moreover, in the 2002-2007 period, the share of wealth invested in equities jumped to 40 per cent from 32 per cent, which in turn pushed the potential for higher growth and volatility, the report added.