Chic Friday facts: How India’s super rich buy clothes and jewellery

Couple days ago, we stumbled upon a report that had practically nothing to do with fashion. But some parts of the report were interesting enough for us to share with our chic readers. The report, called Top of the Pyramid (TOP India), is all about how ultra HNIs (ultra high net worth individuals) aka super rich Indians spend and invest their money.

Here are the fashionable bits that interested us:

Interesting insight: Though ultra HNIs plan big purchases with family, 58% of their apparel and accessories purchases are impulse buys, while 41% are planned with family.

TOP India spending apparel fashion accessories

We say: Window shopping is never easy—there are temptations galore. Even the higher price tags don’t keep the super rich away from impulse buys. We’re kinda surprised by the proportion of people willing to plan their clothing purchases though. Good planning makes for sensible shopping, what say?

“Although the preference is for well-known brands, the ultra HNI is not averse to bargain purchases.”

So everyone likes good deals aka sale shopping!


Fact: Ultra HNIs in Delhi are relatively the biggest spenders on jewellery.

Jewellery TOP India report

We say: No surprise there! Delhi is all about exuberance and being OTT, right? 😉

Statement: The Inheritors* and the Self-made* spend more on jewellery than the Professionals*. The more
prosperous you are, the more the jewellery on your person.

We say: Do you think this is true for all—what about elegance and the “minimal” look?

Big jewellery brands

The report opines that the major global jewellery brands like Cartier and Tiffany are not as successful as leading family jewellers and independent jewellery designers due to their “limited range, lack of custom-made designs and reluctance of Indians to pay a premium for
designer jewellery.”

True—Indians love jewellery that no one else is wearing.

Apparel and accessories

Interesting insight: The Inheritors are more drawn towards international designer brands and purchase their fave brands on foreign trips.

We say: While I’m not an ultra HNI, I do agree with the respondents who say that the shopping experience, available range, quality and prices are much better abroad.

Meanwhile, Professionals are relatively not very big spenders on clothes.

Ultra HNI TOP India report

The biggest spenders on designer apparel and accessories are from Mumbai.

We say: So while Delhi spends more on jewellery, Mumbai wins the battle of the clothes. Which city dresses better though? Our vote goes to Delhi.

Numbers: The potential market for apparel and accessories in India was estimated at Rs 64 billion as of 2010-11, and its mainstay is Indian traditional wear, saris and designer wear, particularly for weddings and personal collections.

We say: ZOMG! The number caught us by surprise, but we’re happy to note that people love buying (and wearing) traditional wear, despite most of us unable to drape a sari or keep a dupatta in place. Long live the sari!

If you want more such interesting insights, leave your query in the comments below.

* The researchers from Kotak Wealth and CRISIL Research have classified India’s ultra HNIs into three groups: Inheritors are born with a silver spoon, and have inherited high net worth; Self-made are first generation entrepreneurs whose success in business turned them wealthy; and Professionals are qualified, highly skilled professionals who gained wealth because the companies that employed them grew big.

The report Top of the Pyramid (TOP India- Decoding the ultra HNI) is a newly-launched annual report by Kotak Mahindra Bank and CRISIL.

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