India may lose 6,500 super rich this year


Rama Krishna Sangem 

India may lose at least 6.500 super rich or high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in 2023, slightly lower than last year’s outflow of 7,500 millionaires, according to the Henley Private Wealth Migration Report 2023 which tracks wealth and investment migration trends worldwide. A person to be called HNWI should have a taxable wealth of at least one million US dollars.

This places India as the second-largest country in terms of HNWI outflow globally, following China which lost 13,500 millionaires. Most of Indian super rich are preferring either Dubai or Singapore to relocate.

The report further ranks UK (3,200) and Russia (3000 ¬vs 8,500 in 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine) in third and fourth and place respectively. But, this is a normal phenomenon that super rich usually migrate to safe havens, where their money is protected or grows faster, without paying higher taxes or tax authorities harassment. 

Why these super rich leaving India?

“Recent and persistent turmoil has caused a shift — more investors are considering relocating their families for a range of reasons, from safety and security, to education and healthcare, to climate change resilience and even crypto-friendliness. It is important to note that nine of the

Top 10 countries for forecast net HNWI inflows in 2023 host formal residence by investment programs that encourage foreign direct investment in return for the right to reside, which can also lead to citizenship in some cases. Investors see the clear value of diversifying their domicile portfolios as the ultimate hedge against both regional and global volatility, now and in the future,” said Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners.

India’s prohibitive tax legislation coupled with convoluted, complex rules relating to outbound remittances that are open to misinterpretation and abuse, are other issues that have triggered the trend of investment migration from India, said the report.

Dubai and Singapore remain preferred destinations for wealthy Indian families. The former, also known as the “5th City of India,” is particularly attractive for its government-administered global investor “Golden Visa” programme, favorable tax environment, robust business ecosystem and safe, peaceful environment.

But, we need not worry 

Given India’s capacity to generate new millionaires, the outflows are not considered particularly concerning. New World Wealth projects that high-net-worth individual population is projected to experience a remarkable 80% increase by 2031, positioning India as one of the world’s fastest-growing wealth markets during this period.

This growth will mainly be fuelled by the thriving financial services, healthcare, and technology sectors within the country. Interestingly, the firm has observed a notable trend of affluent individuals returning to India, and as the standard of living continues to improve, it anticipates a significant influx of wealthy individuals moving back to India in greater numbers.

“With a current count of approximately 357,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) residing in the country, India showcases a robust wealth presence. Asia is home to various wealth hubs and just this year, the number of enquiries received from South Asia in the first four months of 2023 already accounted for 72.2% of the total number of enquiries recorded the previous year which in itself was a record year. We project this upward trajectory to continue this year, with Indian investors voicing the demand for alternative residences and additional citizenships,” said Rohit Bhardwaj, Director- Private Clients at Henley & Partners India.

The report exclusively features the latest forecasts of net inflows and outflows of US dollar millionaires, as projected by global wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth, which has been tracking global wealth migration trends for over a decade.

Where are they going?

Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program remains the most popular overall in 2023, followed by Austria’s citizenship by investment offering and St. Kitts and Nevis’s Citizenship by Investment Program. Next is Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program, the fastest way for entrepreneurs and wealthy individuals to access Canadian residence and the North American market.

Rising in popularity this year and last in the top five is Italy’s Residence by Investment Program, with Greece’s Golden Visa Program and Spain’s Residence by Investment Program hot on the heels of their Mediterranean counterpart.

Indians and Americans are the top two nationalities driving demand for enquires about investment migration programmes. said Henley & Partners. The lessons for those who hope to attract HNWIs are clear- “Political stability is the key metric for those selecting where they want to live, together with low taxation regimes and personal freedom,” said Misha Glenny, award-winning journalist and Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, according to reports..

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at