Business Today

Evolving Luxury

The new rich prefer the discreet; they also love an experience.

He is known to be combative. Certainly, doesn't mince words. That makes him the right man to pop this timely question.

Roland Folger, Managing Director and CEO of India's largest luxury car manufacturer Mercedes Benz, was just done launching a "hyper" sports car in Delhi, one that purrs over 300 km an hour and comes with a price tag of Rs 2.3 crore. India, however, is not buying enough of these machines. About 35,000 luxury cars are sold in the country a year - that needle hasn't moved in four years. Something's wrong?

Nearly all wealth reports point to the country's growing prosperity, but timid luxe car sales can be a bit confounding. Kotak Wealth Management's "Top of the Pyramid" report estimated the number of ultra-high net worth individuals households (HNHs), or those with a minimum net worth of Rs 250 million, mapped over 10 years, at 146,600 in fiscal year 2016. That was a 16 per cent compounded growth over five years. The Hurun Global Rich List 2017 recently ranked 2,257 billionaires from 68 countries. India was fourth on that list after China, the

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