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India's Wealth & Entrepreneurial spirit

By Nikhil Singhal

Are India’s wealthy individuals the most entrepreneurially minded in the world and what does it mean for how they manage their wealth?

Based on our 2023 Global Entrepreneurial Wealth Report* India’s wealthy entrepreneurs certainly seem to exhibit more signs of serial entrepreneurship than their peers in other markets. They are more likely to come from a heritage of entrepreneurship, more likely to pass their business on to family and more likely to transition from one business endeavour to the next. This vibrancy is powering wealth growth but also brings new challenges when it comes to managing it.


Come from a family business background

Intend to pass their business on to family

Have already started transferring their wealth

We explore three areas in relation to how they are managing their wealth:

Serial entrepreneurship

The propensity to pursue multiple business endeavours over a lifetime and the desire to hand businesses on to family in the future is more prominent in India than other markets. 

Global and local

India’s wealthy entrepreneurs are simultaneously the most internationally connected of all markets as well as intently focussed on their home soil.

Wealth planning aware

On the face of it most wealthy entrepreneurs in India seem to have some level of planning in place for transferring their wealth. Perhaps more so than their global peers.

India’s serial entrepreneurship

Current entrepreneurs are more likely to have come from a family business background than be first generation entrepreneurs (62% vs 38%). Not everyone who comes from a family business background is working in the family business, with 25% running a separate business.

Perhaps growing up around successful enterprises is why we see that in this market, entrepreneurs are in the business of staying in business – with more than two thirds (67%) planning to continue investing, setting up, mentoring or investing in other ventures once they exit their current one. 

And exit is on their horizon. While 44% are thinking of exiting within the next five years, almost a quarter (23%) are looking to exit within the next two years. Which means large volumes of wealth transfer – but also the creation or growth of new businesses – will take place in the very near future. Given more than one in five (22%) have already identified a new business they plan to start, it’s not surprising that this market is seeing such a positive trajectory.

And it’s not just a prioritisation of their current business. Almost half (47%) tell us that the purpose of their wealth upon transferring it is to invest in future businesses – which we know can often be in a different sector than their previous one – further fuelling this trend of serial entrepreneurship amongst wealthy families in India. 

The majority come from entrepreneurial families

Business exits are very much on the horizon
% of respondents living in India (n=78)

Business exits are very much on the horizon - Graphical Representation

After their business exit, they still intend to stay active within business
% of respondents living in India (n=78)

Global & local

Perhaps what’s so intriguing about entrepreneurs in India is the juxtaposition between their focus outside of their home country, and within it. While we see the most geographically dispersed families in this market, they retain a strong focus on home, too.

These entrepreneurs are truly international. Almost three quarters (73%) are operating businesses that trade beyond India’s border, and 63% have family members across borders – enjoying the opportunities to be found in other markets. Looking ahead, they see North America as the region of growing importance to them and their families (49%) but almost equally important is India itself (44%).

In part, this may be linked to the huge importance placed on ensuring the best education for their children – with schools in the US or Europe heavily in favour. And while in the past these younger generations often stayed put post-study, with the internal growth within India there’s an increasing trend to return and capitalise on the opportunities at home.  

Number of countries that families live across

Regions of growing importance in the next 3-5 years

% of respondents

Transferring wealth

When it comes to exiting their business, 56% plan to pass this down to the next generation or another family member – which is perhaps unsurprising given how many come from a family business background to begin with. A further 35% plan to sell, and 9% haven’t decided yet.

And this transfer has already started. Four in ten (41%) have already started passing on their wealth – either formally or informally – to family members. Encouragingly entrepreneurs in India seem to understand the importance of talking about this wealth transfer with family. India has one of the highest proportions of entrepreneurs who are already discussing this regularly (36%) or intend to in the near future (42%). Yet India also has the highest proportion of entrepreneurs saying they don’t plan to discuss it at all – which is double that of their Asian peers.

This open dialogue may be because there’s clear plans in place to talk through, with only 5% saying they don’t have wealth transfer plans (vs 11% globally). It could also be linked to some apprehension they have for the next generation taking over – with over half (54%) citing work ethic as a concern, and 41% lacking a trust in their ability to run the business. So, investing time and energy to clear planning and structures well ahead of an exit is a good opportunity to align on purpose, plans and values.  

% of respondents living in India (n=78)

Open In New Window
Regions of growing importance in the next 3-5 years - part 2 - Graphical Representation

Discussing the wealth transfer process with families
% of respondents (n=85)

Structures in place for wealth transfer to the next generation
% of respondents (n=85)

India’s entrepreneurs compared to global peers

Background: family business or first-generation entrepreneurs
% of respondents

Number of countries that families are living across
% of respondents

Source: Global Entrepreneurial Wealth Report 2023. Global Average n=973, Mainland China n=127, France n=88, Hong Kong n=136, India n=85, Singapore n=113, Switzerland n=57, UAE n=69, United Kingdom n=154, USA n=144


The landscape in India is ripe for growth. Opportunities are vast for this nation’s entrepreneurs to shape businesses, and even entire industries. They are resilient and somewhat unique in their openness to starting multiple businesses in difference sectors. 

With a boom in the manufacturing sector and mature IT market creating global opportunities, coupled with a burgeoning middle class creating a strong domestic market, India has a very exciting decade ahead. 

Protecting and growing wealth for the next generation is clearly front of mind for these entrepreneurs, as is ensuring they are set up for success when that transfer happens. Open dialogue and early planning can ensure peace of mind and protection of wealth for generations to come.

Cityscape image of Mumbai

*We surveyed 973 entrepreneurs across 9 markets with investible assets of USD2-100m+ to understand their priorities, concerns and plans in three key areas: international opportunities, the path to business exit and beyond, and the transfer of wealth through generations. This includes 85 entrepreneurs living in India.

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