Rising Trend Why HNIs Indians are Leaving the Country

In recent years, there has been a notable trend of wealthy individuals from India seeking opportunities beyond their home country. This article explores the factors contributing to the emigration of affluent Indians and analyzes the inclusion data from 2017 to 2023.


The phenomenon of wealthy Indians leaving the country has sparked discussions and debates about the reasons behind this trend and its potential implications.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai had last year told the Parliament that 1,33,83,718 Indians were living in foreign countries.

According to the Global Wealth Migration Review, about 5,000 millionaires, or 2% of India’s HNIs, had left the country by 2020. Morgan Stanley said in a 2018 study that 23,000 Indian millionaires had left the country since 2014.

Who are High Net worth Individuals or HNIs

High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs) refer to individuals who have a substantial amount of wealth and financial resources. In India, HNIs are often categorized based on their net worth, which typically includes their assets, investments, and other financial holdings.


Definition and Net Worth Criteria

While there is no strict definition, HNIs in India are generally considered to have a high net worth if their investable assets (excluding primary residence) exceed a certain threshold. This threshold can vary, but it is commonly set at around INR 5 crore or more.

Sources of Wealth

HNIs in India are typically individuals who have accumulated significant wealth through various means, such as successful business ventures, lucrative investments, inheritance, or high-paying professional careers. They often have diversified investment portfolios that include real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other financial instruments.

Influence on the Economy

These individuals are known for their financial stability, ability to invest in high-value assets, and their potential to generate substantial income and wealth. HNIs often have a strong influence on the economy, as their investment decisions, philanthropic activities, and consumption patterns impact various sectors and industries.

Target Audience and Financial Services

HNIs in India are an important target audience for financial institutions, wealth management firms, luxury brands, and service providers catering to high-end clientele. They often have unique financial goals and requirements, seeking personalized financial planning, investment advice, tax optimization strategies, and estate planning services.

Role in Shaping the Economic Landscape

Overall, HNIs play a significant role in shaping the economic landscape of India and contribute to the country’s growth through their investments, job creation, philanthropy, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Types of HNIs

  • High-net-worth people (HNWIs) Investors with available assets worth between 5 lakh rupees and 5 crore rupees
  • Very-high-net-worth people (VHNWIs) are investors with liquid assets worth between Rs 5 crore and Rs 25 crore.
  • Investors with more than Rs 25 crore in liquid assets are called ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs).

What are the top Reasons that HNIs leaving India

Economic Factors

The Indian economy has witnessed significant growth in recent years, but wealth inequality remains a pressing issue. While the country has a large number of billionaires and millionaires, a considerable portion of the population still faces economic challenges.

High taxes, complex business regulations, and limited investment opportunities have led some wealthy Indians to seek more favorable economic conditions abroad.

Political Stability and Governance

Political stability and effective governance play a crucial role in attracting and retaining affluent individuals. Concerns about political instability, corruption, and policy unpredictability in India have led some wealthy individuals to explore options in countries with more stable political environments.

They seek favorable business climates that offer long-term stability, ensuring the security and growth of their wealth.


Takeaways: In 2023, Australia is expected to have a net influx of 5,200 HNWIs, which is more than the UAE, which drops to second place after its record-setting flood in 2022. UAE is still expecting to get a net of 4,500 new millionaires this year, which is a lot. According to the Henley study, Singapore comes in third with a net influx of 3,200 HNWIs, which is the most ever. The US comes in second with an expected net influx of 2,100 millionaires.

Education and Lifestyle Opportunities

Education and lifestyle opportunities for themselves and their families are vital considerations for affluent Indians. Many opt to send their children to renowned international schools or universities abroad to access high-quality education.

Additionally, the desire for a cosmopolitan lifestyle, better healthcare facilities, and a wider range of recreational activities are among the factors motivating wealthy Indians to seek residency in countries that offer these amenities.

Global Business Expansion

The global business landscape presents immense opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs and investors. Wealthy Indians often seek to expand their business ventures beyond national boundaries, exploring new markets, collaborations, and investment prospects.

Establishing a presence in countries with favorable business environments can help them diversify their portfolios and tap into international networks.

Taxation and Wealth Management

Taxation policies and wealth management considerations also influence the decision of wealthy Indians to relocate. Some individuals perceive more favorable tax structures and estate planning opportunities in other countries. By choosing jurisdictions with lower tax burdens, they can maximize their wealth and protect their assets for future generations.

Cultural and Social Restrictions

India’s traditional and conservative social structure imposes various restrictions on personal choices and individual freedoms. HNIs may feel constrained by societal expectations and norms, such as arranged marriages, strict gender roles, and rigid social hierarchies.

Moving abroad allows them to explore alternative lifestyles, experience cultural diversity, and embrace personal freedoms without judgment or limitations.

Infrastructure and Quality of Life

Infrastructure challenges, including inadequate healthcare facilities, traffic congestion, and pollution, can impact the quality of life in India.

HNIs often seek better living conditions, access to high-quality healthcare, well-planned cities, and a cleaner environment in countries with more developed infrastructure. They prioritize the comfort and convenience offered by advanced infrastructure systems.

Global Exposure and Networking

HNIs leaving India often seek global exposure and networking opportunities. By relocating to countries with thriving business ecosystems, they can expand their professional networks, gain international business exposure, and explore collaborations with global industry leaders.

This enables them to enhance their business acumen, access new markets, and foster innovation.

It is important to note that while some HNIs choose to leave India, many others remain invested in the country and contribute to its growth through philanthropy, investments, and job creation.

Additionally, government initiatives aimed at creating a more conducive business environment and addressing social stigmas can help retain and attract HNIs, fostering inclusive growth and development within the country.


The emigration of HNIs Indians represents a complex phenomenon influenced by a range of factors. Economic conditions, political stability, education and lifestyle opportunities, global business expansion, and taxation considerations all contribute to this trend.

As India continues to develop and address these concerns, it is essential to create an environment that retains talented individuals and encourages wealth creation within the country. Balancing economic growth, governance reforms, and addressing wealth inequality will play a significant role in shaping the future choices of affluent Indians and their decision to either stay or leave the country.