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India’s UHNWI population to grow by 63% over the next five years: Knight Frank Wealth Report

1 out of 5 of India’s UHNWIs planning to buy a new home in 2021

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


Knight Frank, an international property consultancy, in The Wealth Report 2021 cited that India’s ultra-high-networth individuals (UHNWIs) population, those with US$30 million or more, is expected to grow by 63% in the next five years to 11,198. At present, India is home to 6,884 UHNWIs and 113 billionaires. The billionaires club in India is expected to increase significantly by 43% to 162 by 2025. The growth will outpace the global average growth of 24% and Asia average of 38% during the period.  According to the report, an individual requires US$ 60,000 to join the wealthiest 1% club in India. The wealth growth forecasts predict India’s threshold of 1% the wealthiest club to almost double in the next five years.

In terms of passions led investment, jewellery is the most preferred object of desire for Indian UHNWIs, followed by art, watches, wine and classic cars. In line with global trends, Indian UHNWIs too cited a higher preference for wine, compared to rare whisky in 2020. According to The Attitudes Survey conducted by the company as part of Knight Frank’s The Wealth Report 2021, there is a rise in the number of UHNWIs in India who intend to purchase a new home in 2021. As per Knight Frank’s, The Wealth Report 2021, 1 out of 5 of India’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) plan to buy a new home in 2021.

Globally, 43% of UHNWIs are more interested in environmental, social and governance (ESG) focused investments than 12 months ago. In India, 46% of ultra-wealthy Indians are interested in ESG focused property investments. However, awareness on ESG focused property investments is still evolving and 89% of Indian UHNWIs feel they need more information to assess ESG related investment opportunities.

Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India said “With the economic operability reaching high levels of its efficiency post the pandemic, India will make strides to make an entry into 5-trillion-dollar club in the next few years. India is expected to further economically strengthen and gain a formidable position as an Asian superpower paving an ecosystem for the rise of new sunrise sectors. The new economic opportunities will help bring lucrative wealth creation assets which may add new wealthy individuals in the country.”

Knight Frank’s The Wealth Report 2021, in 15thedition assesses the change in fortune of the UHNWIs, spending and investing patterns, and attitudinal shifts expected in the year 2021.


As per Knight Frank’s, The Wealth Report 2021, 1 out of 5 of India’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) plan to buy a new home in 2021 compared to 1 out of 10 in 2020. The respondents chose upgrading the family’s main residence, buying a new holiday home and moving permanently to a new country or a territory as the three prominent reasons behind new purchases. The COVID-19 pandemic has also influenced attitudinal shifts in residential purchase, with the emergence of coastal and ski destinations as new preferred locations globally. However, in India, 41% of the UHNWIs are more likely to purchase a new house in resorts/coastal area.


Despite the uncertainty in the global market, ultra-wealthy Indians in 2020 experienced a 59% increase in their wealth. In 2021, 91% of Indian UHNWIs expect to see an increase in wealth with the start of a new economic cycle. Knight Frank predicts that Asia is likely to see the largest rise in the number of UHNWIs with an estimated growth of 39%, led by Indonesia (67%) and India (63%). Whilst Indonesia boasts of a 67% growth in its UHNWI population during this period, which is the highest globally, India’s UHNWI population will be 10 times that of Indonesia.

FUTURE GAZING: Top 5 highest growth forecast in UHNWI 

Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank said, “Asia is the key wealth story. The US is, and will remain, the world’s dominant wealth hub over our forecast period, but Asia will see the fastest growth in UHNWIs over the next five years, 39% compared to the 27% global average. By 2025, Asia will host 24% of all UHNWIs, up from 17% a decade earlier. The region is already home to more billionaires than any other (36% of the global total). China is the key to this phenomenon with 246% forecast growth in UHNWI residents in the decade to 2025.”


Monaco continues its reign as the world’s most expensive city where the US$ 1 million can get you 15 square metres of space in 2020. Comparatively in Mumbai, you can purchase 106 square metres of prime residential real estate, compared to 102 square meters in 2019.

*Exchange rates calculated at 31 December 2020 | Source: Knight Frank Research, Douglas Elliman, Ken Corporation

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