Archive for ‘wealth’

18/01/2017

This Is Just How Unequal India Is – India Real Time – WSJ

New report from Oxfam highlights how the country’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few

Country Percentage of wealth top 1% has
Global

51

Australia

22

Belgium

18

Brazil

48

Canada

26

Denmark

31

France

25

Germany

31

India

58

Italy

25

Mexico

38

Netherlands

24

New Zealand

20

South Africa

42

Sweden

36

U.K.

24

U.S.

42

The richest 1% of Indians hold 58% of the country’s total wealth, according to Oxfam India.

The stark inequality in India is worse than the global data put out by the organization, which show that the richest 1% have more than 50% of the total world wealth, Oxfam said.

It said recently improved data on the distribution of wealth, particularly in countries like India and China, indicate that the poorest half of the world has less wealth was previously thought. Oxfam singled out India repeatedly in the report.

It said that companies are increasingly driven to pay higher returns to their shareholders. In India, the amount of profits corporations share with shareholders is as high as 50% and growing rapidly, the report said.

A family sits atop a pile of hay on a horse cart on a highway near Amritsar, India, Nov. 4, 2016.

The report said the annual share dividends paid by from Zara’s parent company to Amancio Ortega – the world’s second richest man – are equal to around 800,000 times the annual wage of a worker employed by a garment factory in India.

Oxfam said that the combined wealth of India’s 57 billionaires is equivalent to that of the country’s poorest 70%.“India is hitting the global headlines for many reasons, but one of them is for being one of the most unequal countries in the world with a very high and sharply rising concentration of income and wealth,” Nisha Agarwal, chief executive of Oxfam said in a statement.

Oxfam said India should introduce an inheritance tax and raise its wealth levies as well as increasing public spending on health and education. It said it should end the era of tax havens and crack down on rich people and corporations avoiding tax.

Source: This Is Just How Unequal India Is – India Real Time – WSJ

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11/09/2014

Despite Sluggish Economy, China Has Yet Again More Millionaires – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Perhaps the Chinese economy is doing OK after all: The country’s ranks of the rich are growing slightly faster, according to a new report.

By slightly, we mean very: one percentage point.

Still, those who track the rich point to it as an optimistic signal. At the end of 2013, there were 1,090,000 people with a net worth of more than 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) and 67,000 with more than 100 million yuan, according to the Hurun Wealth Report 2014. That’s an increase of 4% for both categories. In the previous year, the growth rate was 3% and 2%, respectively, which represented the lowest increase over the six years Hurun has compiled the report.

Hurun, which also puts together an annual list of the richest people in China, said it came up with its headcount by two methods. First, it looked at the sales of high-end real estate and cars, as well as income tax returns and other data related to wealthy individuals. Then, it rounded out its headcount by taking into account macroeconomic data like gross domestic product growth and gross national product.

So who are the new rich? Mostly private business owners, said Hurun, who make up 55% of all millionaires (up from 50% last year). The report said the wealthy typically own a personal residence worth at least 2 million yuan, multiple cars worth more than 200,000 yuan as well as 1.7 million yuan in “investable assets.”

via Despite Sluggish Economy, China Has Yet Again More Millionaires – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

12/06/2014

China Minting Millionaires in Global Wealth Surge – Businessweek

Where do the world’s rich live? As has long been true, the U.S. has more millionaires (in U.S. dollars) than any other country, with 7.1 million. But China last year came in second with 2.4 million millionaire households, beating Japan with half as many. The number of millionaire families around the world reached 16.3 million last year, up from 13.7 million the year before.

Visitors crowd around a luxury yacht on display during the 19th China International Boat Show in Shanghai on April 10

All told, the total value of global private wealth grew far faster than global economic output, up 14.6 percent, to $152 trillion, compared with an 8.6 percent increase in 2012. Much of the new money originated in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan), up by 30.5 percent, to $37 trillion. That put Asia in the No. 3 spot for riches, behind North America and Europe, according to the 14th annual survey on private wealth by Boston Consulting Group.

Driven by rapid GDP growth in China and India, Asia is expected to surpass North America and Europe as the leading source of global wealth in 2018. That year, the global pot of gold will total a bit less than $200 trillion, with the proportion from Asia projected to reach $61 trillion, slightly more than North America, with $59.1 trillion. “The Asia-Pacific region and its new wealth will account for about half of the total growth,” the report predicts.

via China Minting Millionaires in Global Wealth Surge – Businessweek.

20/11/2013

Indian women in business: has the glass ceiling been shattered? – The New Silk Road, Stephenson Harwood

From: The New Silk Road, Nov 13 to Jan 14; Stephenson Harwood

http://f.datasrvr.com/fr1/413/26346/NSRissue17-interactivePDF-v15.pdf

India is a country of acute contrasts; and perhaps nowhere is the divide more pronounced than in the status of women. In terms of the big milestones, the country has a reputation for leapfrogging others – Indira Gandhi became the world’s second ever female prime minister way back in 1966 (pipped to post by Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka), and women have since served in multiple senior political roles.

They’ve also stormed ahead in the professions (notably medicine and law) and in the international corporate world. One might cite Indra Nooyi, who beat all comers to secure the top job at Pepsi-Co; ot her aptly named Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco Systems. Meanwhile, a generation of newly-empowered and highly-educated young women are going out to work in larger numbers than before.

Set against these achievements, however, is the increasingly troubling situation facing Indian women more broadly. A recent Reuters Trustlaw investigation – examining a wide variety of measures from male-to-female pay disparity, through female foeticide, to deaths in dowry disputes – ranked India  as the worst country in the G20 to be born female.

Assushma Kapoor, South Asia deputy director for UN Women sums up: “There are two Indias: one where we can see more equality and prosperity for women, but another where the vast majority of women are living with no choice, voice, or rights.”

Although more than two decades of economic liberalisation has opened up opportunities in progressive cities such as New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore, large parts of the country – particularly in the north – remain entrenched in feudalism. The upshot, according to The Economist, is that just 29 per cent of Indian women are currently in the workforce, compared with two-thirds of women in China.If deep-rooted changes in social attitudes are needed, who better to lead them than India’s companies? The willingness with which multinational companies (especially in the IT sector) have embraced the female graduates of India’s management schools is surely indicative of their quality. As well as Vanitha Narayan of IBM (profiled overleaf) the managing directors of both CapGemini India and Hewlett-Packard India are women. Female representation at the top of the banking profession is also much higher in India than many other countries.

The sectors in which women are currently thriving at senior levels – FMCG, retail, IT and retail banking – tend to be consumer-centric, says headhunter Ronesh Puri of Executive Access: reflecting the fact that household buying decisions are usually made by women and companies feel the need to ‘connect’. In more labour-intensive industries like mining, oil and gas, and aviation, women are still under-represented – as they are in the west – though that is beginning to change.

Indeed, demand for female directors at Indian companies across the board is growing at an estimated rate of about 10 per cent each year. That’s partly the result of new legislation mandating at least one board for certain classes of companies. But it’s also a response to the growing body of research suggesting a link between business growth and profitability, and gender diversity.Many women in corporate India might protest that there’s a long way to go. But the same is true in virtually every other developed nation. And one thing India is not short of is distinguished role models. Here we profile four inspirational women, who’ve made their mark across very different sectors.

Shubhalakshmi Panse

Chairman and managing director, Allahabad Bank

When Shubhalakshmi Panse’s became the first woman to lead India’s oldest bank last year, it marked the culmination of a near 40-year career at the financial coal-face. It almost never happened. Panse, 59, was pursuing a doctorate in embryology at Pune University when she stumbled across a recruitment advert from the state-owned Bank of Maharashtra. She took the qualifying exams “just for fun”. Having successfully climbed the professional ladder, Panse made the most of a sabbatical in the US in the early 1990s, completing a three-year MBA in twelve months flat before returning to India. The sizeable challenge she was hired to tackle at Allahabad Bank was to turn round the struggling institution in a year, ahead of her retirement next January. Panse admits “networking” isn’t her forte. She credits her success to her work ethic (“my commitment has always been 200 per cent”); and her parents. “We were raised as independent individuals. My mother would say ‘you can do it’.

Ishita Swarup

Founder, Orion Dialog and 99.labels.com

Ishita Swarup knew from an early age that she wanted to do “something of my own” rather than get stuck in “the cog in the wheel syndrome”. After completing her MBA, she joined Cadbury’s Indian brand management team, but stayed in the corporate cocoon just three years before starting the online phone marketing firm, Orion Dialog, in 1994 aged 27. The firm, which numbered Citibank among early clients, caught the rising tide of business process outsourcing. In 2004, Swarup exited in style: selling out to Aegis BPO (part of the Essar group). Still, she’s had much a choppier time with her second big venture, the ecommerce outfit 99.labels.com. Launched in 2009, the site was India’s first ‘flash sales’ shopping portal. But a proliferation of ‘me too’ competition and profitability concerns have dogged the firm and, in May, a big investor pulled out. Swarup hasn’t given up. She’s rejigging the business model and looking for new backers. “Seeing a venture take shape from idea to reality, and then taking it to a growth level, motivates me,” she says. “Making mistakes is part of that process.”

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Founder, Biocon

India’s wealthiest self-made woman started Biocon aged 25 in 1978, out of the garage of a rented house with the bare minimum of capital because she could not get financial backing. The decision to strike out on her own – becoming India’s first biotech entrepreneur – was taken almost by default. She had hoped to get a job at Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries, but was shocked to hear that male colleagues wouldn’t accept her. “That’s when the hard fact hit me. There is a gender bias.” Biocon began life as an enzyme specialist, before moving whole sale into the lucrative bio-pharma sector in the late 1990s, ahead of the great ‘off patent’ bonanza. IN 2004, Mazumdar-Shaw too the company public, Now 60 and worth US$625 million, according to Forbes, she lives in an estate outside Bangalore. “You could be in California”, she said last year. “Then you step outside and see poverty. That’s not a nice feeling.” She has pledged to five away three-quarters of her wealth.

Vanitha Narayanan

Managing director, IBM India

In contrast, one woman who has thrived on corporate life is Vanitha Narayanan, an IBM ‘lifer’ who became responsible this year for all Big Blue’s operations in India and South Asia – one of the company’s fastest-growing regions. With 150,000 people on the payroll, IBM is the largest multinational employer in India. Naraythan, a graduate of the University of Madras, cheerfully admits that, apart from a brief stint in a department store, “IBM is my only job”. She joined the company’s US telecoms group as a trainee after taking an MBA at the University of Houston, and made her name working with just one client, the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. “It helped me lay a foundation – you respect the industry of your client, and sometimes the client is your best teacher.” That certainly proved true in her case. She went on to become a global vice-president of IBM’s telecom solutions, and in 2006 moved to China to run the Asia Pacific Unit. At 54, Narayanan is modest about her achievements, preferring the word “influence” to power. “She’s no pushover,” says a colleague. “But she can build trust very easily”.

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04/02/2013

* The party has to stop, technology tycoon tells India’s mega rich

The Times: “One of India’s top technology bosses has attacked the growing tendency towards conspicuous consumption among his country’s business elite, saying that some of the excesses were repugnant in a nation of such poverty.

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Azim Premji, the billionaire philanthropist and chairman of Wipro, the IT services group, said that practices such as flying in American bands for weddings at $1 million a time were damaging in India, where official statistics last year suggested that 360 million people were living in the depths of poverty.

His words come as Delhi considers imposing higher taxes on the super-rich as it tries to close a yawning budget gap.

The country’s ultra-wealthy should be devoting more of their earnings to philanthropy, Mr Premji said. He declined to be drawn on whether he thought the elite should be subject to higher taxes, emphasising instead the importance of giving away wealth voluntarily. The 67-year-old is one of Asia’s leading philanthropists and in 2001 founded the Azim Premji Foundation, an educational charity to which he has handed billions of dollars.

Mr Premji said: “In India the very rich are demonstrating too much conspicuous wealth in terms of lifestyle. That I think has not been the culture of India in terms of the previous rich, [who] always had very moderate, regulated lifestyles. That is getting a lot of visibility. If you go for parties and you go for weddings and in a country of our poverty some of those make you sick.”

India’s economy has slowed sharply, with growth of 5.5 per cent forecast for this year, down from expansion of over 8 per cent early in the decade. Mr Premji said that his country’s boom had been hyped in the past and that its image had been damaged recently by the economic slowdown and policy indecision.

Mr Premji, ranked as India’s third-wealthiest person by Forbes, warned that unemployment in his country could turn into a “complete disaster” if growth did not accelerate sharply.”

via The party has to stop, technology tycoon tells India’s mega rich | The Times.

01/12/2012

* Chinese tycoons advised on charity

China Daily: “Western experience sought after to advance China’s development

The newly rich in China are looking to the West for experience again. But this time, they want to learn how to spend money, rather than how to make it.

Zhang Xin, CEO and co-founder of Soho China, a leading real estate developer, said she had no clear strategy when she started her journey into philanthropy.

“In the early days, when I established the Soho China Foundation, we did not have a clear plan. We gave money to build a school here and set up a kindergarten there and rushed to help people affected by a tsunami,” Zhang said.

Zhang said she gradually realized that it is important to discover the pressing social problems China faces and then choose one field that requires a huge investment of money and human capital.

The female billionaire said her foundation started the project Teach for China, which is dedicated to training teachers in rural schools in Northwest China’s Gansu province, one of the most impoverished provinces, six years ago.

“Teach for China is what we learned from an American foundation,” she said.

Zhang made her remarks at the China Philanthropy Forum 2012, which was jointly held on Friday by the China Association for International Friendly Contact, Caijing Magazine and other organizations in Beijing.”

via Tycoons advised on charity |Society |chinadaily.com.cn.

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