Top 36 families in India own more than a quarter of country’s GDP, and that’s not the end of the story. In the past two decades India has seen a dramatic increase in wealth for family-run businesses, the latest edition of Knight Frank Wealth Report said. And the reason for so much wealth being accumulated to a small number of families is the succession planning where the desire to preserve wealth for future generations and to leave a lasting legacy is important.
However, the report cautions that wealthy families in present time may not be prepared to pass on their wealth and legacy. “Our research into wealth transfer found that a significant number of wealthy families are unprepared to pass on their legacy and knowledge to the next generation. Just 26% have a full wealth transfer plan in place and the findings showed that the next generation is not being educated early enough about the management of wealth,” the report said.
Moreover, traditional family set-ups – with multiple generations living and working together, “under the watchful eye of the patriarch” – are being replaced by nuclear families, with the often Ivy League-educated younger generation keen to carve out their own paths. The research also found that despite dominating the wealth share, family-run businesses these days are facing huge competition. “Family businesses today are also facing competitive challenges as a result of rapid globalisation and new technologies that are disrupting the world of business.”
The Wealth report also showed that the number of ultra-wealthy people (those with net assets of US$50 million or more) rose by 10% in 2017. While this percentage fell in countries such as Latin America and Russia, the ultra-wealthy population will more than double in the next five years in China, grow by nearly 71% in India, 66% in Indonesia and 65% in Malaysia.