By Swaraj Baggonkar
Supercar brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini are witnessing a demand surge in India like never before, partly fuelled by the aspirations of the new and young breed of entrepreneurs running start-ups whose valuations have only headed north.
For every new supercar model and even for those priced upwards of Rs 1 crore, about 1-2 confirmed buyers are startup founders or first-generation businessmen, according to the official importers of such cars into India.
Sharad Kachalia, Director, Navnit Group (importer of Ferrari in India), said: “After Covid-19, the mindset of buyers has changed and their buying power has improved. People have started to think, ‘I need to live my life now’. The increase in the number of HNIs in India has been dramatic because every day we see a new startup hitting the unicorn status.”
The fully imported Ferrari cars are typically priced above Rs 3.5 crore in India. Although the Italian brand does not share sales volume data for the country, sources say that an estimated 30-40 cars were sold by it last year with a ‘notable chunk’ being startup founders.
Cities other than Delhi and Mumbai are producing unicorns and they are from places like Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Bengaluru and Kochi. “South (of India) has become a very strong market for us,” Kachalia added.
Bengaluru, which is often hailed as the start-up capital of India, witnessed the highest growth in the number of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNI), followed by Delhi and Mumbai last year, according to Knight Frank Wealth Report 2022.
Kachalia claims that whatever Ferrari allocates to India, his dealership is able to sell everything. “We have a waiting period of 12 months to 24 months. Almost all our models are sold out. Only the Ferrari 296 GTB (launched in August) is available, but more than two units are already booked,” Kachalia added.
Perhaps the biggest supercar brand in India is Lamborghini, which clocked 69 units sales last year. More than half of this volume came from the Urus, the SUV.
“For the Urus, the first-generation buyer contributed 25% of its sales. It was usually the third and fourth generation entrepreneurs who were buying such cars but we are now getting more than more first-generation entrepreneurs,” said Sharad Agarwal, Head – Lamborghini India.
Lamborghini, which also hails from Italy, has been working on measures to improve its reach not just geographically but demographically as well, since the last two years with a keen focus on attracting young entrepreneurs from the IT and no-tech start-up world.
As of 2021 India was home to 13,637 UHNIs which was a 11% growth over 2020 (12,287). 2020 and 2021 were pandemic hit years. It is estimated that UHNIs will grow to 19006 by 2026, more than double compared to 7401 recorded in 2016.