Brand Strategy Luxury Brands India

Mumbai is booming – to market to the city’s ultra-rich, first understand its culture

By Manisha Patel, Junior marketing and sales manager

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May 22, 2024 | 8 min read

Mumbai is home to more billionaires than any city except London and New York City. Manisha Patel & Tanisha Barar of Relevance explain how to cut-through in Asia’s wealthiest metropolis.

The Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge in Mumbai, India

Mumbai has a vast number of social activities and cultural events to entertain wealthy residents. / Sid Saxena via Unsplash

India will see one of the biggest ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) population growths over the next five years, according to Knight Frank's The Wealth Report 2024, with cities such as Mumbai anticipated to be among the world’s largest ultra-wealthy hubs. Robust economic growth, favorable demography, and a thriving startup ecosystem are all helping to accelerate India’s UHNW population.

“As the world’s traditional ultra-wealth hubs evolve, luxury marketers will need to adapt their campaigns and remain up-to-date on the changing lifestyle, consumer habits, and demography of the new super-rich,” explains Rumble Romagnoli, CEO and Founder of Relevance.

According to the report, India’s UHNW population is set to rise to 19,908 by 2028, up by 50%. In comparison, the global UHNW population is expected to rise by 28.1% over the next five years. The global UHNW population at the end of 2023 stood at 626,619, up 4.2% compared to a year earlier.

Mumbai, in particular, has witnessed incredible growth in its super-rich population. Now boasting 92 billionaires, Mumbai is Asia’s billionaire capital for the first time, according to Hurun Research’s Global Rich List 2024. The city is now home to the third-largest number of billionaires in the world, only beaten by New York, US, with 119, and London, UK, with 97.

India’s most wealthy individuals are optimistic about their wealth, with 90% expecting it to increase in 2024 thanks to India’s vibrant and dynamic economy.

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What are India’s UHNWIs spending their money on?

According to the Knight Frank 2024 report, India‘s ultra-rich invest 32% of their wealth in residential assets, of which 14% are located outside of the country. Indian UHNWIs own an average of 2.57 homes.

Mumbai rose to eighth position in terms of annual luxury residential price rises in 2023, up from the 37th spot in 2022, with a 5.5% prime price forecast growth. Mumbai is now one of the world’s most in-demand real estate markets.

Around 17% of Indian UHNWIs‘ wealth is invested in luxury collectibles and passion investments, including fine art, luxury watches, and high-end jewelry.

Where do UHNWIs stay and socialize in Mumbai?

As a growing wealth hub, Mumbai boasts a refined selection of ultra-luxurious hotels. Some of the top hotels where UHNWIs might stay include The Taj Mahal Palace, Soho House, Four Seasons Hotel, and the St. Regis.

Mumbai also boasts several ultra-exclusive members clubs where UHNWIs can relax, socialize, network, and strike business deals. These include The Royal Willingdon Sports Club, The Royal Bombay Yacht Club, The Royal Western India Turf Club Limited (RWITC), The Bay Club, and the YPO Mumbai Chapter.

Mumbai’s young ultra-wealthy are also members of exclusive clubs, such as Soho House, YEO, and Club Jolie’s.

There are several luxury events that UHNWIs might attend in Mumbai. The Indian Derby, organized by the Royal Western India Turf Club, is a thoroughbred horse racing event that takes place annually on the first Sunday of February at the renowned Mahalakshmi Racecourse, Mumbai. Famous, wealthy people in attendance have included the Poonawala family and Indian actor Saif Ali Khan.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a men’s T20 cricket league held annually between March and May throughout India. Many UHNWIs not only attend and watch IPL matches but also own and invest in the league and teams. For example, Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance owns the Mumbai Indians team. In recent years, the league has also seen growth from foreign investors such as CVC Capital Partners, a Luxembourg-based private equity and investment advisory firm, which owns the Gujarat Titans team.

Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW), co-organized by Lakmé and RISE Worldwide (formerly IMG Reliance), along with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), features top designers from Delhi, Mumbai, and across India. Meanwhile, GQ Men of the Year, organized by GQ Magazine, is an annual event that brings together the most influential Indians across industries. Think fashion, Bollywood, philanthropy, unique businesses, activists. A spot on the coveted guestlist to this event is granted only to those making significant contributions to the Indian pop-culture landscape.

Where do India’s most wealthy shop in Mumbai?

The Jio World Plaza, which opened in 2023, is owned by Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance and has become a home for luxury brands such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Dior Burberry, Gucci, Cartier, Bulgari, and Balenciaga.

The iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel also houses a collection of luxury boutiques and designer brands such as Dior and Louis Vuitton, providing a blend of historical grandeur and high-end shopping. Similarly, the Oberoi Trident Hotel boasts a selection of upscale shops catering to a discerning clientele seeking luxury goods and services.

For a modern shopping experience, Palladium stands out as a premier luxury shopping mall in Mumbai, showcasing an impressive array of international designer brands and high-end retail outlets. Additionally, prestigious exhibitions like the Indian Jewellery Show, Bridal Asia, and IIJS attract affluent patrons with their curated offerings of fine jewelry, designer clothing, and home decor.

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Relevance

Relevance is a strategic and creative digital marketing agency specialising in profiling and targeting Ultra-High-Net-Worth-Individuals for the world's most exclusive...

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