What are your views on ostentatious consumption?
I feel it is perfectly alright for you to enjoy the benefits and the luxuries you get with your riches. You have earned it and you deserve to enjoy your success.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries recently bought his wife, Neeta a gift for her birthday.
While most people would buy a gift on such an occasion, the gift he bought was spectacular. The gift he gave is not what most people would give, mainly because, I must admit, they cannot afford such a gift.
He gifted her a $60 million Airbus plane . The jet is custom-fitted with an office and a cabin with game consoles, music systems, satellite television and wireless communication. It also has a master bedroom, a bathroom with a range of showers and a bar with mood lighting.
Local media reports say that Mr. Ambani is building a $1-billion home in Mumbai, considered to be one of the world’s most expensive houses.
The 27-storey home — for a family of six — with a helipad, health club and six floors for car parking and 600 staff, has awed India’s rich. But it has also drawn criticism as an edifice to vulgarity in a country where hundreds of millions live in crushing poverty.
Yes, you deserve to enjoy your success but how much is too much?
I recall similar criticism of Lakshmi Mittal, when he spent about 30 million pounds on his daughter’s wedding.
One of measures of the value of money is as a percentage of a person’s wealth.
So if Ambani and Mittal are worth over $50 billion each, they are spending less than a percentage of their wealth rewarding themselves.
My question to the critics is:
Do you donate 1% of your wealth to anybody in the “hundreds of millions living in crushing poverty”?
Prem Rao said:
Thanks, Nitin. You make a good point.