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Asset Management / Wealth Management
Wealthy Indian families explore overseas opportunities
Dubai seen as an attractive investment destination, family offices adopt emerging technologies to improve operations
Yuki Li 10 Jul 2024

As the number of affluent families in India continues to grow, so too does the demand for sophisticated wealth management solutions and investment strategies.

Family businesses, from small and medium-sized enterprises to large conglomerates, are expanding across sectors such as manufacturing, retail, real estate, healthcare, and finance. The rapid expansion of these enterprises has boosted the demand for family offices in India.

There are now more than 300 family offices in India, compared with just 45 in 2018, according to report by PwC India. This number is expected to rise exponentially, as families build impressive businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

The need for succession planning weighs heavily on ultra-high-net-worth Indians, many of whom are first-generation entrepreneurs. They are diversifying and deploying new capital allocation strategies, investing in assets such as real estate and exploring new ventures that expand their current focus.

Furthermore, Indian family offices are shifting from traditional investments towards strategic risk mitigation and exploring opportunities in emerging markets. They are increasingly investing in start-ups, diversifying their portfolios, and seeking higher returns. The fintech sector is particularly attractive to these family offices, having raised a total of US$853.6 million in funding in 2023 alone, according to the report.

Indian family offices are also expanding their footprint beyond domestic markets and tapping into global investment opportunities as they embrace a global citizenship mindset.

Dubai has become a favourite destination. The government offers several incentives to attract Indian businesses, including long-term visa, financial support, free trade zones that allow 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and streamlined business setup facilities, according to asset service provider Ocorian.

“You can invest in various global markets in Dubai, where the margins are tight. However, we strive to differentiate ourselves by offering more competitive pricing, such as lower oil fees, once we enter the market,” says a senior partner at an Indian wealth management firm.

Family offices in India are also gradually adopting emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics to optimize their investments, enhance operational efficiency, and improve decision-making.

Recognizing the potential of technology to transform family office operations, the next generation of business leaders is driving this trend.

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