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:
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
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
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.
Structures in place for wealth transfer to the next generation
% of respondents (n=85)
India’s entrepreneurs compared to global peers
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
*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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